US continues to claim NK responsible for Sony hack, pirate release of movie possible?
In an interview recorded on Friday, President Obama clarified his remarks last week regarding the Sony Pictures hack. The president denies swirling discussions about the hack being an act of war, and called it "an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive." Additionally, late Sunday, Tweets purport that hacker collective Anonymous is about to wade into the fray against North Korea for its role in the event.
Latest developments in the ongoing Sony Pictures hack investigation
North Korea has verbally fired back at allegations that it is behind the Sony Pictures attack. Calling the recent FBI statement identifying the country as the culprit "groundless slander," the country is demanding a joint investigation into the hack, with the country's experts and US law enforcement working side-by-side. If the US should refuse, North Korea's foreign ministry promised "grave consequences," presumably to US interests. The government of North Korea continues to deny that they hack, which has caused an estimated $100 million of damage to Sony Pictures, not including less tangible problems, can on the country.
Statement from FBI notes similarities between Sony Pictures hack and other intrusions by North Korea
[Updated with comments from President Barack Obama] North Korea is responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has now announced. The statement about the agency's investigation into the intrusion of the movie studio's computer network, and subsequent leaks, comes at the same time as messages supposedly coming from the hackers wanting Sony to do more than halt the release of "The Interview" movie.
Six movie studios, including Sony, provided $500,000 per year for the MPAA's campaign against Google
In the past weeks, quite a lot has been revealed about Sony's role in ongoing anti-piracy efforts due to the leak of emails as part of the fallout of the North Korean-based GOP attack on the studio. In a post on Thursday on the Google Public Policy Blog, Kent Walker, Google SVP and general counsel, outlined even more leaks that describe a combined and carefully planned effort by Sony and five other studios that began this year to provide funding and legal support for the MPAA's efforts to court State Attorney Generals and target Google directly.
FBI, diplomats had previously denied direct North Korean involvement
US government officials now believe North Korea is, in fact, behind the attack of Sony Pictures Entertainment's computer system and subsequent data leaks, according to reports. The government is also said to be preparing to make an official statement about its findings, which may arrive as soon as tomorrow, though apparently there is still some internal debate as to what kind of response to make to the insular country. Previously, the FBI had said it had "no evidence" of a direct North Korean connection, though the country was suspected from the outset.
Employs DDoS attacks, enlists Amazon Web Services to block distribution
In a surprising twist to the ongoing saga of an attack on Sony Pictures' internal computer system by unidentified hackers (likely to be from North Korea), the studio is starting to fight back by leveraging Amazon Web Services to carry out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on identified servers that contain files stolen from Sony over the last month. Taking a page from its own playbook, the media conglomerate is flooding suspect servers with dummy files, a sequel of sorts to anti-piracy attacks carried out by the firm in conjunction with Media Defender seven years ago.
Leading theories of state sponsored attack put forth by Sony, others in doubt
The assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's cyber division, Joe Demarest, has declared that the government of North Korea, at least, doesn't appear to be the instigator of the Sony Pictures attack. Speaking at a cybersecurity conference, the chief said that despite the attack package being compiled in Korean "there is no attribution to North Korea at this point."
Continued data leaks, attacks threatened if movie release halted
Hackers behind the Sony Pictures intrusion have made a more public demand for the company to stop the release of an upcoming film. The demand from the "Guardians of Peace" is accompanied by another large release of internal data, with information about aliases used by celebrities, as well as more contact information for the stars and their assistants.
Alleged 'Guardians of Peace' leader sent email demanding Sony 'behave wisely'
The Sony Pictures hack attack has taken a dark turn. A mass email in broken English went out to employees whose data was stolen by the so-called "Guardians of Peace," demanding that recipients return the email, or "not only you but your family will be in danger." In the email, the attackers are demanding that employees "make your company behave wisely" in order to stop future incidents by the hack group.
Personal data belonging to Sylvester Stallone, Rebel Wilson leaked in hack
The Sony Pictures data breach may be bigger than originally believed, as reports claim a lot more people than the 6,000 employees have been affected. Personal data including Social Security numbers for more than 47,000 current and former employees were apparently involved in the leak, including information relating to famous celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone and Rebel Wilson.
Anti-North Korea comedy "The Interview" scheduled to be released December 25
Despite previously calling a movie soon to be released by Sony Pictures an "act of war," North Korea has denied any involvement in the seemingly-ongoing studio hack. An anonymous diplomat from the country has refuted state involvement in the data theft, and claims that North Korea has "publicly declared that it would follow international norms banning hacking and piracy."
'New' look replaces Windows 7-inspired desktop in previous version
While it continues to dominate the vast majority of worldwide, there is a sense that both consumers and industry are moving slowly away from Windows software as alternatives -- primarily Apple's OS X and iOS -- gain more mainstream attention. This drift seems to be embodied in the latest release of "Red Star OS," a Linux variant developed for the last decade by North Korea as a state-sanctioned OS. In a bold move, version 3 has adopted a directly OS X-like look, dropping the previous Windows 7 stylings.
Tablet uses Android, includes educational software, Angry Birds Rio
North Korea has allegedly created a new Android tablet, a move that effectively mimics that of companies in South Korea, such as Samsung. The seven-inch Samijyon tablet is apparently supplied without a way to create a Wi-Fi connection, though is said to be capable of connecting to the country's restricted Internet, as well as a TV tuner that can only pick up state-run broadcasts.
North attacked by Anonymous, South by unknown sources
Government websites in South and North Korea have been attacked by hackers, on the anniversary of the start of the Korean War. Websites, including a number of media servers and one for the presidential Blue House, were taken down in South Korea earlier today, but it is not clear what entity performed the attacks in the first place.
News site's Twitter account, website taken down
In its latest cyber assault, the Anonymous collective has reportedly broken into the Chinese-hosted North Korean news site Uriminzokkiri.com and pilfered 15,000 user records -- including user names, email addresses, birthdates and hashed passwords. To prove the intrusion, the group has included details for six users, including three North Koreans, and three people from China. One of the identified Korean users had an email address from the Korea Electric Power Company.
Tourists denied Internet access, permitted long-distance calls
North Korea is stopping tourists visiting the country from accessing the Internet over 3G wireless connections, reversing what some believed was a major step forward for the secretive region. The change comes just one month after the regime opened up its digital borders, with carrier Koryolink launching its mobile Internet service for visitors, as well as international calling, texts, and MMS messaging.
Internet access still denied to general population
North Korea is allowing foreign users access to the Internet over mobile devices. The ability for travelers to use the country's 3G network comes one month after the secluded country permitted the use of mobile phones by tourists, though not quite the same access will be offered to resident citizens in the country.
Used crowdsourced information over multiple years for map
Google has updated its Maps to include detailed road and landscape information for North Korea, something not offered before by the service. Previously showing just the coastline, rivers and the location of Pyongyang, the new additions are the culmination of years of work by residents of the secretive country using Google Map Maker.