FBI confident that North Korea was behind Sony attack
FBI director James Comey says the bureau is confident that North Korea was behind the Sony Pictures cyber-attack last year because the hackers “got sloppy”.
James Comey said the group posted material from servers used exclusively by the North Koreans.
November’s attack on Sony Pictures saw the leak of sensitive documents, and film The Interview briefly shelved.
Cyber security experts have been skeptical about the FBI’s assertion North Korea was to blame.
Sony’s decision to temporarily cancel The Interview‘s release was described by President Barack Obama as “a mistake”. Sony later released the film in independent cinemas and also distributed it online.
The Interview‘s plot revolves around a plan to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Pyongyang has denied being behind the cyber-attack, but described it as a “righteous deed”.
In retaliation, the US has placed sanctions on three North Korean organizations and 10 individuals.
The sanctions are believed to be the first time the US has moved to punish any country for cyber-attacks on a US company.
James Comey had been addressing delegates at the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York.
He said there was evidence the hackers had used proxy servers in an attempt to disguise the attack’s origins, but sometimes neglected to do so, revealing, the FBI believes, the true location.
However, experts remain unconvinced that the US has proved its case.
“To be frank, director Comey has not revealed anything new,” said Brian Honan, a security researcher.
“Various IP addresses have been associated with this attack, from a hotel in Taiwan to IP addresses in Japan.
“Any IP address connected to the internet can be compromised and used by attackers.”
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