The Director of the FBI, James Comey, revealed in a speech today how the US government managed to tie the hack of Sony Pictures to North Korea.
Speaking at the International Conference on Security, Comey explained how investigators at the FBI uncovered who was behind the cyberattack.
Comey told the conference that the hackers “got sloppy,” accidentally revealing their real IP addresses in the emails they sent to Sony Pictures executives. He explained that the IP addresses are “exclusively used by the North Koreans.”
Hackers use technology like VPN servives to try and hide their IP addresses, which tie internet users to real-world locations. By using VPNs, they can mask where in the world they really are. Comey claims that Guardians of Peace used VPNs to try and hide their real identities, but they slipped up.
Elsewhere in his speech, Comey addressed the many cybersecurity experts who have cast doubt on the FBI’s claim that North Korea was behind the hack. “Some serious folks suggested we have it wrong,” he said. “They don’t have the facts that I have, they don’t see what I see.” He went on to say that “there’s not much I have high confidence about – I have very high confidence in this attribution.”