It's Actually Very Hard To Prove Who Hacked Sony

Ever since the Sony hack occurred nearly a month ago, the North Korean government has often been called the perpetrators behind the attacks. 

Tomorrow, the US government will reportedly name North Korea responsible.

But on Wednesday, Wired Magazine’s Kim Zetter wrote a convincing piece explaining how hard it is to pinpoint an attack.

Zetter writes hackers can easily create false clues and disguise their attacks as coming from a nation-state. Also, when nation-states are involved in cyber attacks, they are usually a lot more muted about it. They don’t go around posting their leaked documents like they did in this case. Zetter says such actions are more indicative of hacktivist attacks targeting large corporations. 

Zetter also says the first public statement sent to Sony after the attacks in late November had no mention of North Korea. In fact, a person claiming to be a spokesperson for GOP said in a previous interview that it was an “international organisation…not under direction of any state.” Also, in a letter sent to Sony executives, the attackers asked for “monetary compensation,” a demand you rarely see in attacks for a political cause.

Some of the evidence that pointed to North Korean involvement include the encoding language that was used by the machine in the attacks. Zetter says that, too, can be configured to manipulate investigators. The RawDisk that was used to wipe out data also had nothing to do with North Korea in previous attacks.

Instead, Zetter says all the evidence indicating North Korean involvement are “circumstantial,” and points to hacktivists as the attackers. 

You can read the full article here.

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