Sony Pictures computer network was the subject of a massive security breach on Nov. 24 and reams of embarrassing documents were leaked to the public.
Something calling itself the Guardians of Peace using the ironic acronym GOP took credit on Dec. 9 and demanded that the studio cancel the Seth Rogan comedy “The Interview” that was scheduled to be released Christmas Day.
The film features the killing of North Korean communist dictator Kim Jong-un. North Korea, while praising the hacking, denied responsibility.
On Dec. 11, the GOP released hacked data describing Sony projects aimed at stifling piracy of its products. On Dec. 13, it released data exposing investigations that Sony was bribing Chinese officials.
On Dec. 16, the GOP sent out a notice implying there will be terrorist attacks at theaters showing the movie.
Sony pulls the film on Dec. 17 and announces that it has “no further release plans for the film.” President Obama makes a televised statement that night saying that Sony shouldn’t have done it and should have checked with him.
Sony CEO Michael Lynton — a one-percenter and a personal friend and major supporter of Obama — responds to the President on Dec. 19 saying “I did reach out. We definitely spoke to a senior advisor in the White House to talk about the situation. The White House was certainly aware of the situation.” He also says the studio plans to get the movie to the public.
Also, on Dec. 19, the FBI makes it official that North Korea was behind the hacking. It had been leaked to the media two days earlier that North Korea was suspected.
On Christmas Eve, Sony makes “The Interview” accessible on streaming services and gives it a limited theatrical release the next day.
It gets mediocre reviews.
And that gets us to today. Computer security experts are saying the evidence as to who is the cause for all the fuss now indicates a disgruntled employee working with hackers for piracy groups. They are wondering why the FBI was so quick to release a statement pinning the actions on North Korea.
“When the FBI made the announcement so soon after the initial hack was unveiled, everyone in the [cyber] intelligence community kind of raised their eyebrows at it, because it’s really hard to pin this on anyone within days of the attack,” said Kurt Stammberger of Norse.
Errata Security‘s Robert Graham goes so far as to call the FBI evidence “nonsense.”
The Taia Global security firm, says a linguistic analysis of the hacker’s messages indicates Russian speakers rather than Korean.
For the record, the FBI is sticking to its North Korea claim. But the quickness of its conclusion and the doubts of non-government experts do make one go hmmmm.
For what it’s worth, our favorite conspiracy theory is that Obama is doing this as payback to Lynton to help him pump up an otherwise forgettable film.
Regardless he should be impeached. Even Biden would do a better job and that’s saying a lot.
North Korea Not Behind Sony Hack?