Today, the FBI would like to provide an update on the status of our investigation into the cyber attack targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). In late November, SPE confirmed that it was the victim of a cyber attack that destroyed systems and stole large quantities of personal and commercial data. A group calling itself the “Guardians of Peace” claimed responsibility for the attack and subsequently issued threats against SPE, its employees, and theaters that distribute its movies.
The FBI has determined that the intrusion into SPE’s network consisted of the deployment of destructive malware and the theft of proprietary information as well as employees’ personally identifiable information and confidential communications. The attacks also rendered thousands of SPE’s computers inoperable, forced SPE to take its entire computer network offline, and significantly disrupted the company’s business operations.
After discovering the intrusion into its network, SPE requested the FBI’s assistance. Since then, the FBI has been working closely with the company throughout the investigation. Sony has been a great partner in the investigation, and continues to work closely with the FBI. Sony reported this incident within hours, which is what the FBI hopes all companies will do when facing a cyber attack. Sony’s quick reporting facilitated the investigators’ ability to do their jobs, and ultimately to identify the source of these attacks.
As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions. While the need to protect sensitive sources and methods precludes us from sharing all of this information, our conclusion is based, in part, on the following:
Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed. For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks.
The FBI also observed significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious cyber activity the U.S. government has previously linked directly to North Korea. For example, the FBI discovered that several Internet protocol (IP) addresses associated with known North Korean infrastructure communicated with IP addresses that were hardcoded into the data deletion malware used in this attack.
Separately, the tools used in the SPE attack have similarities to a cyber attack in March of last year against South Korean banks and media outlets, which was carried out by North Korea.
We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there. Further, North Korea’s attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States. Though the FBI has seen a wide variety and increasing number of cyber intrusions, the destructive nature of this attack, coupled with its coercive nature, sets it apart. North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves. Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior. The FBI takes seriously any attempt—whether through cyber-enabled means, threats of violence, or otherwise—to undermine the economic and social prosperity of our citizens.
The FBI stands ready to assist any U.S. company that is the victim of a destructive cyber attack or breach of confidential business information. Further, the FBI will continue to work closely with multiple departments and agencies as well as with domestic, foreign, and private sector partners who have played a critical role in our ability to trace this and other cyber threats to their source. Working together, the FBI will identify, pursue, and impose costs and consequences on individuals, groups, or nation states who use cyber means to threaten the United States or U.S. interests.
He said that suspected Boko Haram militants had seized young men, women and children from Gumsuri village.
The attack happened on Sunday but news has only just emerged, after survivors reached the city of Maiduguri.
Meanwhile, Cameroon’s army says it has killed 116 Nigerian militants who had attacked one of its bases, AFP reports.
Residents told the BBC the armed militants attacked the border town of Amchide on Wednesday, arriving in two vehicles and many others on foot.
Just a gentle reminder that Sony is not a US company, and the “cave-in to terror” doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to Sony’s CEO, Kazuo Hirai. On the other hand in Japan they’ve directly experienced terror from North Korea in the form of threats, missile launches, and kidnappings of Citizens.
North Korea’s subsequent hack — which released tons of cringe-worthy emails — also revealed that Sony Corp’s CEO Kazuo Hirai was unusually involved in the production of “The Interview” after North Korea called the movie an “act of war” after seeing promos for it.
In fact, Hirai “broke a 25-year tradition” by interfering with the production of the irreverent comedy starting Seth Rogen and James Franco, The New York Times has reported. Generally, an executive from parent company Sony Corp. wouldn’t insert himself into the decisions of the company’s usually independent studio, Sony Pictures.
Hacked emails cited by The Times showed that Hirai told the studio to tone down a scene showing Kim’s head exploding. Seth Rogen sent an email to Sony Pictures executives that apparently addressed Hirai’s concerns about the exploding head.
Said Sorkin: “Today the U.S. succumbed to an unprecedented attack on our most cherished, bedrock principle of free speech by a group of North Korean terrorists who threatened to kill moviegoers in order to stop the release of a movie. The wishes of the terrorists were fulfilled in part by easily distracted members of the American press who chose gossip and schadenfreude-fueled reporting over a story with immeasurable consequences for the public-a story that was developing right in front of their eyes. My deepest sympathies go out to Sony Pictures, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and everyone who worked on The Interview.”
Pakistan’s civilian and military and leaders vowed to eliminate terrorists a day after 132 students were slaughtered, signaling a move to combat a Taliban movement it has periodically fought and talked to.
“No difference will be made between good and bad Taliban,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told reporters today after meeting leaders of the country’s main political parties in Peshawar, where the attack occurred that killed 148 people, most of them students. “We all pledged to fight terrorism until the last terrorist is eliminated from our soil.”
It looks like Pakistan is ready to stop sheltering terrorists. We’re lucky that terrorists are so stupid that they’re willing to make everyone hate them, leading to their own demise.
A moratorium on the death penalty has been in place since 2008, and governments have been reluctant to lift it, fearing a backlash from the militants. But the attack in Peshawar appears to have altered their thinking.
A team of nine Taliban gunmen stormed the school, the Army Public School and Degree College, on Tuesday, firing randomly, throwing grenades and lining up some students to be executed. Of the 145 fatalities, 132 were students.
The Taliban said the attack had been retaliation for the military’s operation against the group in the North Waziristan tribal region.
Muhammad Khurasani, the Taliban spokesman, said the school had been selected for the attack because it serves predominantly children of military personnel.
(CNN) — Russian authorities are failing to protect gay people from persecution and are not prosecuting the perpetrators of a growing number of homophobic attacks, Human Rights Watch says in a new report.
Its report calls for a July 2013 anti-gay propaganda law to be repealed, saying many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people interviewed for the report had noticed an increase in persecution since last year.
It would be nice if Russia could make some progress on human rights like we have. It looks like they’ve decided to go in another direction. Cave men.
The gunman who took 17 hostages in Sydney was not on a terrorist watch list despite being well known to federal police and the Australian security agency, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday.
The prime minister spoke as Australians laid mounds of flowers at the site in Sydney’s central business district where 50-year-old Man Haron Monis held hostages for 16 hours at a popular cafe.
The siege ended early Tuesday with a barrage of gunfire that left two hostages and the Iranian-born gunman dead, and a nation that has long prided itself on its peace rocked to its core.
The Taliban stormed a military-run school in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, gunning down at least 126 people — most of them children — in one of the volatile Asian nation’s deadliest attacks.
Hours after the attack, Pakistani troops were still exchanging gunfire with the militants inside the Army Public School and Degree College in the violence-plagued city of Peshawar, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the country’s capital, Islamabad.
Two explosions were also heard.
By around 4 p.m. (6 a.m. ET), the Pakistani military had pushed the attackers back to four blocks of the school, military spokesman Gen. Asim BajwaI tweeted. BajwaI added a short time later that five assailants had been killed.