After the United States government implicated North Korea in the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, the rogue nation responded by denying the allegations and telling the U.S. to provide evidence on the Sony hack. Now, NY Times reports that anonymous U.S. and foreign officials and computers experts who were briefed on the situation, along with a recently disclosed NSA document, said that the U.S. National Security Agency had initiated their hacking efforts against North Korea’s internet and computers in November of 2010, years before the attack on Sony.
“The trail that led American officials to blame North Korea for the destructive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November winds back to 2010.”
Those behind the attack on Sony, a group which calls itself Guardians of Peace (or #GOP), attempted to threaten Sony into not releasing The Interview, a film which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, allegedly due to their affiliation with North Korea, as the movie portrays the assassination of North Korea’s Supreme leader, Kim Jong-un.
The NSA, with the aid of allies — which included South Korea, hacked into North Korean computers and networks, installing malware used to monitor the rogue nation’s activities.
Malware used to monitor and control remote computers are known commonly as Trojans, a type of computer virus which goes by many names including remote administration tool (RAT), client/server virus, and Trojan horse virus. Advanced remote administration tools allow for network monitoring, eavesdropping through connected media components such as cameras and microphones, and more. While this type of virus does have numerous practical and perfectly legal applications, such as within schools as a remote administration tool used to monitor the computer activities of students, they have the potential to be used in a nefarious capacity.
James Comey, the director of the FBI, indicated in a speech which Inquisitr reported on previously, that he had no doubt North Korea was behind the attack. Comey offered what was, at the time, new evidence implicating Pyongyang in the cyber-attack on Sony Corporation.
South Korea’s military has indicated that the North’s hacking program consists of roughly 6,000 people, most of whom are under the command of the country’s primary intelligence service, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, and secretive hacking unit, Bureau 121, the NY Times reported.
The sophisticated cyber-attack launched successfully on Sony’s systems incorporated a spear-phishing attack in which booby-trapped e-mails were sent to Sony employees. Investigators determined that a Sony systems administrator’s account had been stolen and used to roam freely through Sony’s systems. Once in, the hackers spent roughly two months, from mid-September to mid-October, mapping the company’s computer systems.
An FBI statement released in December, 2014, indicated that the U.S. government and its collaborators in the investigation had sufficient evidence to implicate Pyongyang leadership in the attack, Fox News reported.
“As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. Government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions.”
North Korea, who built their first computer in 1965, has adamantly denied their involvement in Sony’s hacking.
The United States has levied sanctions against the country of over 24 million in retaliation for the cyber-attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment.
What do you think of the United States levying sanctions against North Korea for allegedly hacking Sony after the U.S. Central Intelligence Service hacked the North Korean nation’s computers and networks?
[Image via Wikipedia]