Expert: Here's Why North Korea Probably Didn't Attack Sony

A cybersecurity expert says it is highly unlikely that North Korea was responsible for the unprecedented cyberattack on Sony late last month.

David Kennedy, founder of the security consulting firm TrustedSec LLC, thinks the hack was too sophisticated to have been carried out by the China-backed nation.

“North Korea is definitely stepping up its offensive capability,” Kennedy told Business Insider. “But it is still very shut off and secretive, so it struggles with getting the technology it needs to launch major cyberattacks.”

The massive cyberattack on Sony Pictures was the
the first major attack on a US company to use a highly destructive class of malicious software that is designed to make computer networks unable to operate,” Reuters reported.

Kennedy doubts that China, a nation with notoriously sophisticated hacking technology, helped North Korea launch the attack.

“I don’t think the attack was backed by China,” Kennedy said. “The two nations don’t share a lot of cyber capabilities.”

Sony is expected to name North Korea as the official source of the hack, but a North Korean diplomat in New York has denied that his country played any role in the cyber attack.

Kennedy noted that if North Korea were responsible, they would likely be eager to brag about taking down a US company.

“North Korea is typically pretty quick to take the credit for these kinds of things,” he said.

That said, the code used to infiltrate Sony reportedly looks like malicious software that targeted South Korea last year.

Regardless of who was responsible, the attack represents a “watershed moment” in the escalation of cyber-warfare tactics, Dave Aitel, a cybersecurity expert at the security consulting firm Immunity, Inc., told Business Insider.

“It’s not entirely clear this was North Korea,” Aitel said. “But if it was, to me it signifies a new boldness in the way nation-state actors are willing to encounter the US in cyberspace.”

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