In hack, Franco and Rogen can laugh. Sony, not so much.

December 9, 2014

Geek-on-geek crime isn’t a laughing matter.

Over the weekend, actors James Franco and Seth Rogen took to Saturday Night Live to make light of last week’s announcement of a November cyber attack on Sony’s entertainment division. In the show’s monologue, the stars of the upcoming film The Interview—the production that is suspected to be the impetus behind the attack—shared photos that they jokingly claimed has been been stolen from their phones, and a good laugh was had by all.

Well, maybe not all. It’s safe to say that Sony and its employees aren’t amused by the situation. In addition to 47,000 social security numbers and uncomfortable salary information, the breach is alleged to include details as personal as one executive’s breastfeeding details. The hackers say they have 100 terabytes of data which they claim they will release if Sony doesn’t comply with their demand to stop the release of The Interview, in which Franco and Rogen play journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean despot Kim Jong-un.

It remains unclear who executed the attack, but as this Reuters graphic makes clear, there is no shortage of bad actors. According to Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet report, the biggest source of attacks in the second quarter of this year was China, with 43 percent of attacks originating there—almost triple the 15 percent being launched from second-place Indonesia. And U.S. cyberspace is no haven either: 13 percent of attacks were reported to have been based from American IP addresses.

While some former Sony employees are contemplating  a class action lawsuit, North Korea continues to deny involvement, instead suggesting that its supporters (North Korea has supporters?) were behind the “righteous attack.” Whoever it was, the mere scope of the stolen data means that this could be a headache for Sony for a long time to come.

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2 comments

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You expect me to believe that 2 short years ago 63% of hacking attacks originated from OTHER??? What kind of crappy data is this?

Posted by Watcher23 | Report as abusive

Just a “technical point”. The Akamai report synopsis says it “defends against multiple DDoS attacks each day”. Distributed Denial of Service attacks typically are via “bots”, thousands of which are controlled remotely from some site(s) on the planet. Bots are usually installed like a virus on poorly secured computers without the owners knowlege. So logging the IP address of the bot may just correlate with the number of old MS XP and unlicensed pirate copies, or the lack of up to date security fixes.
So “blaming” China, Indonesia and the USA as the worst offenders may not be accurate.
In this case though, North Korea does seem to have the motivation and deserve the suspicion. Particularly worrying for Japanese employees and their families, given the previous activity of abductions etc by NK in Japan.

Posted by Neurochuck | Report as abusive