Sony Hack North Korea Connection Remains Murky

SonyYS-Park / Pixabay

According to Politico, the FBI had a meeting Monday with a well-known security firm that says its research suggests laid-off Sony staff rather than North Korean hackers were the perpetrators of the major Sony hack earlier this year.

Sony hack may involve disgruntled employee and hackers involved in movie/music piracy

Researchers from leading cyber intelligence firm Norse have said publicly that their investigation into the data on the Sony attack doesn’t point to North Korea, and instead indicates a disgruntled employee and hackers for piracy groups are the likely culprits.

The FBI is playing its cards close to its vest, but the cybersecurity industry says the agency has been relatively open and receptive to private sector assistance in the Sony investigation.

Norse has been investigating researching the Sony hack since it became public Thanksgiving week.

Sony Hack – Statement from Norse

Norse’s senior vice president of market development Kurt Stammberger noted that the quick conclusion by the FBI that North Korea was responsible was problematic.

“When the FBI made the announcement so soon after the initial hack was unveiled, everyone in the [cyber] intelligence community kind of raised their eyebrows at it, because it’s really hard to pin this on anyone within days of the attack,” Stammberger said in an interview after his company briefed FBI investigators.

He explained the briefing was scheduled after Norse approached the agency with its findings last week.

Stammberger noted the meeting the FBI was “very open and grateful for our data and assistance”, but disappointingly he agency didn’t share any of its data about the Sony hack with Norse.

Sony Hack – Statement from FBI

“The FBI has concluded the Government of North Korea is responsible for the theft and destruction of data on the network of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Attribution to North Korea is based on intelligence from the FBI, the U.S. intelligence community, DHS, foreign partners and the private sector,” the FBI noted in a statement Monday. “There is no credible information to indicate that any other individual is responsible for this cyber incident.”

The spokeswoman had no comment to inquiries about the briefing with Norse or whether the agency was still investigating other possibilities.

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