Back To Back Cyberattacks Create Many Questions

Posted: January 21, 2015 in IT Security News
Tags: , , ,

USA - North KoreanNever before has a movie achieved more international attention, and it never even hit the screen.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the cyber attack at Sony, or the “Sony hack,” as it been named,  a destructive attack exposing serious security measures. To Hollywood and the rest of the country, it was a total surprise in many ways. U.S. Officials disclaimed that when foreign governments present attacks like this cyber attack, they are looking to provoke a response from the U.S.

A Response from the United States?

Only days after the “Sony hack,” after the Hollywood actors had recovered from the public display of their private life, The Interview was cancelled.  One day later, sources revealed that North Korea was responsible for the cyber attack. Then, two days after that North Korea’s entire Internet went down for 9 hours. Apparently, that implied a counter cyber attack launched from the U.S. in retaliation. New deliberations are investigating if Sony is to blame for a back-to-back cyberattack.

Explanation of the North Korean Blackout

The New York Times reported that the North Korean downtime was consistent to a DDOS attack on their routers. DDOS stands for “distributed denial of service,” which is a planned attack that floods the designated network with traffic until it finally collapses. The timing of this DDOS attack and the blackout are surprisingly close. Perhaps North Korea staged their own attack to cover the “Sony hack?” The question that Sony instigated both of these cyber attacks and breached security measures is still under consideration.

North Korea is super strict with their Internet. They only allow 5,500 websites to be viewed, and an American computer expert assessed that the down wasn’t a maintenance problem because of the length of time it was down. Cloudflare, a cyber company in San Francisco, confirmed the down time. They attempted to contact the North Korean Internet during those 9 hours, but there was no reply. They said it was like “North Korea had gone away.”

Is Sony Responsible for Both Cyber Attacks?

Reports from the cyber security experts in Tel Aviv referred to the “Sony hack” as a “cut and paste” job. Apparently, the malware used was widely available, and as it overwrites data, it interrupts the functioning of the computer, which can permanently eradicate data.

CNN investigators report that the hackers may have stolen credentials of a system administrator, and allowing instant access to Sony’s system. The evidence could point to an inside job at Sony, but one would have to ask “Why?” Any actor with clout could obtain the same information that was hacked.

So the question is, could and would Sony turn around and hack the North Koreans, or would that even be possible? U.S. Officials certainly have the ability. Have they been waiting for an opportunity to infiltrate North Korea, and thought December, 2014 was a good time? Or did the North Koreans hack Sony, and then hack their own Internet?

Whatever the answer is, does anyone else find it completely intriguing that we are experiencing international espionage over a comedy? The movie can be viewed by going to YouTube.


 

Katrina photoAbout the Author

+Katrina  specializes in products for the leading custom design and manufacturing of racking products for your tech needs at RackSolutions.com

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