The National Security Agency apparently knows with absolute certainty that North Korea was behind the recent Sony Pictures hacking, it has now emerged. This was revealed a few days ago by reports online which also alleged that the NSA knows that because it hacked North Korea first, many years ago and installed backdoors in their systems.
The accusations made by among others President Barack Obama when he addressed the issue were a first in American history, according to the New York Times that America had made such a direct accusation to another nation. The other people who spoke on the issue include Sony and a host of security chiefs in the US also said in no uncertain terms that North Korea was responsible for the hack.
The confidence to say that North Korea launched the attack came from the fact that the US had a backdoor in the North Korea cyber installation. This means that America knew that North Korea launched the attack, even when other groups online attempted to take responsibility of the hack.
The question then arises “Why did the US not warn Sony that they were being targeted by a North Korea attack?” Well, the way that the attack was set up made it hard for anyone watching the North Korean internet activities to know that an attack was underway. The attack was anchored on a simple process of sending emails then waiting for the receiver to reply and in the process give up his or her passwords and authentication codes. The emails therefore looked ordinary to the US.
However, the backdoors have helped the US in the forensic investigations to conclude that the attack was indeed launched from North Korea. In fact, FBI Director James Comey said, “We could see that the IP addresses that were being used to post and to send the emails were coming from IPs that were exclusively used by the North Koreans.” The North Koreans therefore did not make effort to hide the fact that they indeed were the ones who attacked Sony Pictures.
The problems between Sony Pictures Entertainment and the North Korea government started when it was announced that it was going to release its hugely anticipated film ‘The Interview’ which is loosely based on the North Korean leader. The North Koreans were not amused with the unflattering story line and decided to hurt Sony in a bid to stop the showing of the film.
In the wake of the revelation, North Korea is expected to try and find the US backdoors in its systems. Meanwhile, the fact that a simple hack could affect American business interests that seriously has brought the internet security debate to the front porches of big businesses. The reality of a cyber war is fast becoming apparent. At this rate, it is quite clear than businesses will need to keep a keen eye on their internet infrastructure.
That said, the NSA refuses to comment on the issue.
Top/Featured Image: Mark Fahey / Wikipedia (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Headquarters_of_Workers%27_Party_of_Korea_02.jpg)