Did North Korea’s infamous Unit 121 cyber army hack Sony Pictures?

Did North Korea's infamous Unit 121 cyber army hack Sony Pictures? 1

Reports have pointed the finger at North Korea for the assault which crippled Sony Pictures and leaked documents and movies online
• FBI joins probe into viable North Korea hack of Sony Pictures

Tuesday 2 December 2014 15.02 GMT Last modified on Friday 14 July 2017 22.Forty-one BST
North Korea has refused to deny involvement in the hack of Sony Pictures, which crippled the studio’s computer systems this week and leaked contemporary blockbusters and personal files online.

A spokesman for North Korea’s UN assignment stated: “The antagonistic forces are relating the whole thing to the DPRK (North Korea). So therefore, I kindly endorse you to be patient simply.”

Sony’s body of workers had been decreased to using pen, paper, and fax machines, unable to apply their computer systems. Some sources stated that 70% of documents, files, and even film scripts had been deleted.

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Ex-employees of whom Sony held statistics informed they had been concerned that a number of the leaked information allegedly blanketed personal statistics. “There are lots of very non-public data: contracts, payroll information, paintings assessment. Workers [are] dissatisfied they aren’t getting excellent answers from control,” said one. “The query remains if they truly have the documents in question. If they do, it’s a large mess.”

A group calling itself of Peace (Gop) has claimed obligation for the hack, though links between Gop and the North Korean government have no longer been shown.


North Korea threatened ‘merciless counter measures’ over Seth Rogen movie
Many think that Pyongyang’s motivation to hack the studio stems from the imminent launch of the Sony Pictures film The Interview, a James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy that depicts a try to assassinate chief Kim Jong-un. In addition, it is suspected that five high-profile Sony movies – which include Brad Pitt’s film Fury – were additionally stolen inside the hack; they have been eventually distributed on numerous record-sharing sites.

The North Korean ambassador Ja Song Nam labeled the comedy’s launch an “act of war” in a letter to the UN secretary standard, Ban Ki-moon, in July, while the North Korean foreign ministry threatened “merciless counter-measures” if America allowed the release of the film.

Sources told technology web page Recode that Sony Pictures turned into investigating the opportunity that hackers working on behalf of North Korea from China had been behind the assault. As a result, the company has employed Silicon Valley security firm FireEye to analyze and help repair the computer network.

Similar strategies to assault on South Korea in 2013
Reports later indicated that the gear used to perform the attack on the film studio had been very similar to the ones used to attack South Korean coins machines and tv stations last year, which the united states publicly blamed on North Korea.

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Hackers displayed a message in broken English alongside an image of a skeleton throughout the screens of Sony Pictures personnel. At the same time, numerous of the employer’s Twitter money owed was taken over to display malicious messages targeted at chief govt Michael Lynton.

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Keaton Savage @keatonsavage
cool to recognize that RL Stine’s cowl illustrator is still getting work from Hacked By #GOP.
1:19 AM – Nov 25, 2014
19 19 Retweets 21 21 likes
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The protection researcher Mark Karpeles advised that the leaked documents that at the beginning regarded on Reddit last week indicated either Chinese or North Korean hackers were accountable due to the man or woman encoding utilized in a number of the documents.

“In the file, we had a line with broken characters. Those characters didn’t render proper below any encoding, besides EUC-CN [Chinese] and EUC-KR [Korean] … In this case, the readme.Txt report might be studying great below both EUC-CN and EUC-KR; this means that the record was maximumly probable generated from a pc set in both Chinese or Korean – or the hacker intentionally converted the document (which appears not going),” Karpeles stated.

Hackers made no point out of the ideal leader
Not all security researchers are satisfied that North Korea is in the back of the assault.

“It is difficult to assume that if the component that raised the ire of the hackers became a movie approximately a CIA/Kim Jong-un assassination plot that the hackers wouldn’t talk over with either in their pronouncements,” wrote the unbiased protection researcher Graham Cluley.

“ attack, let’s not overlook, that looks to haven’t any qualms approximately drawing attention to itself … but carelessly forgets to use the possibility to praise North Korea’s ultimate leader or call for the film besmirching his picture to be withdrawn.”

There are similar inconsistencies with previous North Korean hacking attempts. Gop has now not been linked with North Korean activities before, and no previous assaults have made ransom demands of the type made in the first example of this attack on Sony. The Gop hack also singles out Sony Pictures chief govt Lynton, which preceding North Korean attacks have not achieved before.

North Korea’s state-of-the-art Unit 121 cyber department
The USA can sport out an attack of this scale. Despite photos of isolation and citizens deprived of simple net entry, Jong-un has known as cyberattacks a “magic weapon” for “ruthless moves” towards South Korea.

A file through Hewlett Packard posted in August 2014 defined the infamous North Korean navy department Unit 121 as completely able to break into computer networks, write and plant computer viruses, and carry out formidable cyberattacks. The North Korean cyberweapons unit turned into created in 1998 and has step by step grown in length and functionality.

It has conducted extra attacks on US army structures than some other united states of America, consisting of Russia and China. North Korea also has a settlement with Iran for cyber warfare activities, spurred via the United States and Israeli cyberweapon Stuxnet discovery.