Alternate theory on Sony Hack points to Russian hackers, not North Korea


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related, but probably also unrelated: “the interview” was great until the part where millions of dollars were spent in one country to produce a realistic portrayal of the violent death of the current leader of another country.


So, what you’re saying is that Putin should be next? Or just that he’s related?


It’s the scariest thing about these war threats over hacking: With a little effort, any country could hack any other country whilst making it look like the hack came from the elsewhere :confused:

If we allow hacks to have such escalated responses, war would be extremely easy for any country to justify.


That it’s Putin’s fault. Anything bad is now Putin’s fault.

An alternate-alternate theory, is that a disgruntled former employee and insider was responsible for the hack … as far as I’m concerned, the other theories are secondary to this one.


Myself, I point the finger of blame at S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Isn’t false-flag ops to trigger war their specialty? Step 3: profit.


Yes, the Cache Miss Belli attack.


And what evidence do you have, other than political convenience?

What evidence do any of us have for any of these theories, including the FBI’s?


Here’s Schneir’s bit

The public doesn’t have the evidence, or the expertise to properly evaluate this claim–if the FBI has solid evidence, it’s almost certainly derived from very secret sources within North Korea, or very secret wiretaps, or very secret expertise with electronic warfare.

Tellingly, the FBI’s press release says that the bureau’s conclusion is only based “in part” on these clues. This leaves open the possibility that the government has classified evidence that North Korea is behind the attack. The NSA has been trying to eavesdrop on North Korea’s government communications since the Korean War, and it’s reasonable to assume that its analysts are in pretty deep. The agency might have intelligence on the planning process for the hack. It might, say, have phone calls discussing the project, weekly PowerPoint status reports, or even Kim Jong Un’s sign-off on the plan.

What we do have are various people selling things-- selling a casus belli, selling their “security expertise”, selling propaganda, and selling doubt and cynicism. For instance, if Brian Krebs writes on the Sony Hack. his speculations sell his services on less geopolitically interesting matters. RT is selling doubt-- it’s owners want fewer people to believe the FBI, and the US Government, so that little Green Men can do their jobs.

Who to believe?


Indeed. After being lied to about WMDs, after voting for the candidate promising the most transparent and whistle blower friendly office only to have that reversed, and after seeing the government not prosecute the people that are violating human rights, I dont have trust in any of them.

Fool me once…


Awesome summary. All so true. The only people with access to anything that might point to who did this is Sony (they own the gear being digitally forensically tested), the FBI (who are doing the forensic tests) and the NSA who may have gotten wind of this via other means.

Imho I’d trust the FBI on this one since they have no reason to point the finger at NK without cause (this isn’t a prelude to war… NK are impossible, lying assholes to bargain with and they have nukes) plus, according to the FBI, this bears similarities with past attacks on South Korean banks which was also allegedly and believably carried out by NK.

Also, how fucking long is it going to take PlayStation Network to come back online!? I have ballers to sell and random los Santos pedestrians to run over.

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Pfffff. Evidence is so 20th century. It was obviously Turrrrirsisses.


The FBI has evidence about what caused the FBI to announce that it was North Korea that did it. Fat chance any of them will tell you honestly, because either they’re lying again and know it, or they’re actually not lying this time but don’t want to cover up good sources.

My guess is that there’s a shred of evidence pointing to North Korea, like some hacked machine over there being used for the attack, just as there are hacked machines in China, South Korea, Brazil, etc. being used, and that was enough for the FBI to justify a political decision to blame North Korea. The two scenarios that worry me more are that there are backdoor vulnerabilities that the Feds encouraged that were exploited by private-sector criminal hackers, or that there weren’t Federal backdoors here, just regular ones, and other big companies are just as vulnerable to a well-organized attack.

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Well it’s a good thing Kim didn’t threaten Obama’s father – they would probably be finding yellowcake uranium in those emails.


At the same time, though, computer network security is a real problem. It would be unwise to not care–since businesses will pass on the cost of incidents and your data will be compromised at some point. Obviously, the MPAA has some ideas as to how the internet should be run, and so do surveillance addicts, such as the NSA


Fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me twice – you can’t get fooled again.

There. Finished that for ya.


I get the impression that North Korea has very few computers, almost no individually owned ones, and that the ones that are there are heavily tracked. This makes me suspect that, if you are using a hacked computer in North Korea, it’s not a matter of random chance or convenience. Same with something being routed through North Korea. Thus, if there is a shred of evidence pointing that way, it’s likely either because someone pointed it that way or because it came from there. Brazil or China or South Korea are very different: so many more machines, and, even with China, so much less control.


Paranoia for the sake of paranoia isn’t helpful. Unless someone can give me a tangible reason why the FBI would choose to point the finger at NK over any of the other countries that the US might want to portray as the enemy, I’m not inclined to distrust the FBI in this case since there is next to 0 value in calling out NK unless they seem to have done it.

FYI NK owns a block of 1024 IP addresses that they lease from China. 1024 for the whole country. No machine exists in NK that their government isn’t completely aware of. The backdoors are obviously a concern to everyone but you presume this happened through a backdoor, instead of straight through the front door thanks to Sony’s notoriously lax attitude towards security. Hacks don’t necessarily require skill, you just need a complacent target.


So I looked a lot at the evidence that the FBI did release that said it was NK.

Most of it was based on malware that the FBI alledge NK used in other hacks. Note, they didn’t actually PROVE NK did those other hacks, but just by saying “This is similar to stuff used in other NK suspected hacks”, they now said that THIS is a NK hack.

Can you imagine how that works in RL?

“Because a car that looked like Bob’s was speeding a few other times, and we saw the same looking car speeding somewhere else, it’s safe to say Bob is a speeding lawbreaker.”

“Because Mike was near multiple stores as they were shoplifted, and this store was shoplifted while Mike was inside, it’s safe to say Mike’s a shoplifter.”

This whole basis of evidence tying this to North Korea is “it’s written in Korean” and “we think they did these other things in the past with it.” That’s it. That’s the evidence that North Korea did this. It’s begging the question at its highest art.

“Of course there are high tech WMDs in Iraq. Iraq said they’d like WMDs and we know they’re the kind of people to go looking for them, so they must be guilty of having them.”