Tagged: hack


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President Barack Obama has made a statement in regards to the Sony cyber attack.  What we saw earlier was the FBI confirming North Korea’s involvement.  He thought that although Sony has suffered damages, the company had made the wrong decision in cancelling the release of the movie The Interview.

“Sony is a corporation, it suffered significant damage…  There were threats against its employees.  I am sympathetic to the concerns that they faced.  Having said all of that, yes, I think they made a mistake.”

Sony Pictures had made an announcement that would in turn remove The Interview from it’s December 25th release date — a movie which stars Seth Rogan and James Franco about the CIA recruiting Rogan’s and Franco’s characters to assassinate the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.  Sony had made this decision based on the attacks and threats that they faced through messages received from the hackers.

Obama had noted that he wished Sony officials had asked him for advice before proceeding.

“I wish they had spoken to me first…  I would have told them, ‘Do not get into a pattern in which you are intimidated by these kind of criminal threats.’”

He continued to note that the attack in which North Korea was responsible for did cause damage and will face response by the U.S.

“They caused a lot of damage and we will respond proportionally and in a place and time we choose.”

There was a continued discussion on the damage and dangers that can be caused by allowing such cyber attacks to inhibit the freedom of speech.

Obama continued,

“We can’t have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorshiphere in the United States…  Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks from releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they would do when they start seeing a documentary they don’t like or news reports they don’t like…  Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of someone whose sensibilities probably need to be offended…  That’s not who we are; that’s not what America is about.”

The government is now addressing the issue with the film industry and other media outlets on this.

What do you think geeks?  Let us know in the comments below!

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation has stated that North Korea is confirmed to be behind the cyber attack that was lead on Sony last month.  This hack has led to damages effecting Sony because of stolen emails, leaked data, and the cancellation of the anticipated movie The Interview.  The FBI has formally identified North Korea’s government having involvement in these attacks.

The bureau wrote,

“We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who work there…  North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a US business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves.  Such actions of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior.”

The FBI hasn’t stated whether or not it will be taking action to respond to the attack — this might be because the attackers are hoping to get some sort of reaction.  President Obama has made a statement and has explained how the US will respond to the North Korean threat.

It was reported that the malware used to attack Sony has been used in the past by North Korea.

“For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks…”

The FBI has also noted that “sensitive sources and methods” were used in order to identify the group behind the attack, however, the sources and methods will not be disclosed.

A group by the name of “Guardians of Peace” (also known as #GOP) has taken responsibility for the attack and continues to release stolen data from the hack.  The hackers have also demanded that everything that gives evidence to the existence of The Interview must be removed — a daunting and nearly impossible task.

Here is the full statement that has been released by the FBI,

“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.”

What do you think geeks?  Let us know in the comments below!

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The Sony Pictures hack has been all over the news and now that the hackers have demanded the cancellation of Seth Rogan and James Franco’s The Interview, they want more.

After the studio canceled the Christmas release of The Interview, hackers have now demanded more from top Sony executives.  An email message read that they would withhold the stolen data on the condition that any sign of The Interview was to be completely removed.

According to The Verge, CNN reported a portion of the content in the email,

“It’s very wise that you have made the decision to cancel the release of The Interview.  It will be very useful for you…  We will ensure the security of your data unless you make additional trouble.”

The email included that the movie was never to be “released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance DVD or piracy”.  They have also added the condition that, “everything related to the movie, including its trailers, as well as its full version down from any website hosting them immediately.”

Removing everything from the internet, however, poses a complicated and nearly impossible task.  Even then, there is speculation that hackers might not even follow through with their side of the agreement and could continue to blackmail Sony causing it to censor almost anything in order to keep their data safe along with the public.

US officials are to be announcing whether or not North Korea is behind the hack as there has (off the record) a link that attached North Korea to the group of hackers.

Back in November is when the cyber attack started and over time, the hackers have released data to the public that was stolen from Sony which in turn has been causing a lot of issues and damage.

What do you think geeks?  Is Sony bending too much to the hacker group’s will?  Let us know in the comments below!

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US officials have concluded that North Korea has involvement in the cyber attack on Sony Pictures.  Although North Korea has denied taking part in the Sony hack, officials say that they have found evidence that links North Korea with individuals who initiated the attack.  This comes to us with the knowledge that North Korea could have ordered individuals to proceed with the attacks and the attacks could have been launched using computers somewhere else.

The cyber attacks that have resulted in breaches of data containing movies leaks, Sony emails, and information on their own employees.  Threats lead Sony to cancel Seth Rogan and James Franco’s The Interview which will in turn cost them a large fortune.

Officials did not want to go on record about the intelligence findings and is still debating on whether or not they want to publicly accuse North Korea seeing as Sony has received threats that may cause danger to the public, specifically movie theaters.

What do you think geeks?  Let us know in the comments below!

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In light of hack that Sony has been enduring, Sony Pictures has finally decided to cancel the release of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s The Interview.  Rogen and Franco star in the movie where their characters are a part of a popular television news show.  They are then recruited by the CIA to assassinate the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, after he requests to meet with them.  The movie was scheduled to be released on December 25th.

It has been reported that North Korea publicly condemns the film and there was allegations that they are responsible for causing the hack.  Unfortunately for Sony, the hackers stole many files ranging from internal documents to private e-mail discussions and have released them to the public.  North Korea although has denied such claims and said they have no involvement in the attack.  There is still evidence that points towards North Korea as the main culprit.

On Tuesday, the hackers released more stolen data along with a threatening message that read,

“The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”

Because of the threat, the National Association of Theatre Owners has stated that its members are allowed to decide for themselves whether or not they want to continue to plan for the release of the film and Sony must comply.  Following that statement, major theaters chains such as AMC, Regal, and ArcLight have announced that they will not have the movie shown in their theaters.

It was reported today that Sony finally decided to cancel The Interview and will not be releasing the comedy on Christmas day.

The following statement was declared by Sony,

“In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.

Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

Obviously, the cancellation will result in a huge financial loss for Sony, but because of the threat and risks, it would be dangerous for them to proceed in the release.

What do you think geeks?  Do you think it was a good idea for Sony Pictures to pull the plug?  Let us know in the comments below!

Lizard Squad 5

For the second time in a week the hacker group ‘Lizard Squad’ has attacked Xbox Live. The first attack was on Monday, December 1st, when users found that they had trouble connecting to the Xbox store or checking the status of friends on Xbox One.

The second attack occurred on Friday December 5th. Problems were confirmed by Microsoft at 5:35pm PST when they stated that core services were limited and they released a statement,

“On December 5, 2014, some of our customers experienced an Xbox service interruption. We worked quickly to resolve and address the issue and services are being restored to normal.”

Microsoft however, has not claimed to have been hacked, but that is not stopping ‘Lizard Squad’ from claiming responsibility.

Lizard Squad Twitter Screen Shot

Twitter Feed Screen Shot

‘Lizard Squad’ is the hacker group that had previously claimed responsibility for an August attack that brought down World of Warcraft, Playstation Network, and League of Legends. They are also the group that called in a bomb threat on Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley’s San Francisco flight. This threat received the attention of the FBI and it was believed to have subsequently led to the ‘Lizard Squad’ disbanding.

This latest series of attacks shows that they may only have been on hiatus. According to the ‘Lizard Squad’ Twitter feed, the choice of Xbox Live as their next victim was because of a random request by a follower.

As of 12:25, on December 6, Xbox 360 was listed as having limited problems and an update was posted at 7:17 CST Xbox One was still having limited problems. Whether these are related to the ‘Lizard Squad’ hack is unknown.

Xbox Status Update Screenshot

Xbox Status Update Screen Shot

‘Lizard Squad’ hackers have posted warnings that this is not the end of their attacks and that this is only a preview of what is to come.

Lizard Squad Twitter Feed Shot

Lizard Squad Twitter Feed Screen Shot

Who knows if there next target will still be Xbox, or if they plan to move on elsewhere.

As a side note I thing I find unusual on the Xbox site is this status update. I took the screenshot at 11:47pm CST, yet their service update shows 12:25pm CST. Is this an honest mistake, a service glitch or has the hack somehow affected their internal clocks? I will however note that only the Xbox 360 has remaining issues at this point.

Take a note of the times for this screen shot.

Take a note of the times for this screen shot.

 

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Poor, poor Sony…  I cringe at the thought of what they must be going through right now because of the hack that had targeted them.  When 40 gigabytes of leaked data was sorted through, BuzzFeed discovered a lot of information that is leading to Sony’s downfall.  Files that ranged from medical records to unreleased scripts — we can’t help but wonder how Sony plans to bounce back from all of this.

BuzzFeed also uncovered other documents containing employee criminal background checks and salary negotiations.  Another leaked file was an unreleased script that was written by Breaking Bad‘s creator, Vince Gilligan.

According to Fusion’s Kevin Roose, the hackers that targeted Sony allegedly seized 100 terabytes of data causing employees to freak out since leaked information did contain personal employee records.  The hack was so damaging that even the company’s gym had to shut down.  We can’t imagine what more could be in store for Sony since only 40GB of the hacked data was leaked.

What more has yet to come?  We will have to wait and see how this continues to unfold.  What do you think geeks?  Do you think Sony will bounce back and take control over their information again?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Xbox Live was down on Monday and reports came filing in from members saying they could not connect.  A hacker group known as Lizard Squad made the claim on their Twitter account that they were responsible for taking Xbox Live offline using DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks.

Lizard Squad has a history of making online gaming services a target to their attacks.  Both Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners were unable to connect to Xbox Live.  Attempts at logging in were met by an error code: 80151909.  The code tells the user that the Xbox Live profile has failed to download. We’re not sure what will happen on Christmas day, but it is apparent that Lizard Squad plans to target Xbox Live once again, but in larger measures.

The group caused trouble for Sony’s Playstation Network earlier this year and was also connected to other DDoS attacks on specific games such as League of Legends and Destiny.

Gee, thanks a lot, Lizard Squad!

Image from Fury

Poor Sony, first #GOP hacks them and hijacks their computers and now in possibly a (un)related move copies of movies have hit torrent sites.

As we reported earlier this week, Sony Pictures was the victim of hacking by a group called #GOP. Now we found out that a handful of movies from the studio made their way to torrent sites. We don’t know if it’s related to the earlier attack as no one has of yet laid claim to the leaks. What is particularly troubling is that three of the films – Annie, Mr. Turner and Still Alice – have yet to hit theaters. These are most likely DVD screeners that would be used for awards shows. Annie has been getting some big time push as it’s due in theaters next month so Sony definitely will feel the burn there.

The fourth flick leaked is Fury which we all know would have hit the torrent sites anyways. They all find themselves on torrent sites, it’s inevitable.

Sony has said they will be pressing charges and proceeding with this as a criminal matter according to a spokesman.

The theft of Sony Pictures Entertainment content is a criminal matter, and we are working closely with law enforcement to address it

What do you think geeks? Do #GOP do it? Did the North Koreans do it over The Interview? Hit up those comments and be heard!