I was listening to Sean Sullivan of F Secure on BBC radio today and I find his arguments that the FBI has got it wrong quite convincing. The FBI, it would seem, has less evidence of a N Korea connection than the US intelligence services ever had of WMD in Iraq! But they have now stated categorically that it was N Korea and the perpetrators would be hunted down. Unless of course Obama is looking to initiate his own war in his own name while he is still in office. In which case the FBI could have been tasked with getting the evidence to prove the desired conclusion. A simple act of extortion was followed by reference to the movie only after the Press brought it up.
Industry experts have more credibility for me than the FBI in this case.
Many computer-security experts doubt the validity of the claim that North Korea is behind the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, citing a lack of strong evidence and the possibility of alternate scenarios.
“There’s no direct, hard evidence that implicates North Korea,” Sean Sullivan, a security researcher at Finnish security firm F-Secure, told Tom’s Guide. “There is evidence of extortion (the Nov. 21 email [to Sony executives which demanded money]) and the hackers only mentioned [the movie] The Interview after it was brought up in the press, which they then used to their advantage.”
“Is North Korea responsible for the Sony breach?” wrote Jeffrey Carr, founder and CEO of Seattle cybersecurity consulting firm Taia Global. “I can’t imagine a more unlikely.
Others also find the FBI evidence very flimsy. It seems that the N Korea narrative is essentially led by the media rather than by the evidence:
Wired: ….. Despite all of this, media outlets won’t let the North Korea narrative go and don’t seem to want to consider other options. If there’s anything years of Law and Order reruns should tell us, it’s that focusing on a single suspect can lead to exclusionary bias where clues that contradict the favored theory get ignored.
Initial and hasty media reports about the attackers pointed to cyberwarriors from North Korea, bent on seeking revenge for the Sony movie The Interview. This was based on a complaint North Korea made to the United Nations last July about the Seth Rogen and James Franco flick, which was originally slated to be released in October before being changed to Christmas Day.
But in their initial public statement, whoever hacked Sony made no mention of North Korea or the film. And in an email sent to Sony by the hackers, found in documents they leaked, there is also no mention of North Korea or the film. The email was sent to Sony executives on Nov. 21, a few days before the hack went public. Addressed to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, Chairwoman Amy Pascal and other executives, it appears to be an attempt at extortion, not an expression of political outrage or a threat of war.
“[M]onetary compensation we want,” the email read. “Pay the damage, or Sony Pictures will be bombarded as a whole. You know us very well. We never wait long. You’d better behave wisely.”
To make matters confusing, however, the email wasn’t signed by GOP or Guardians of Peace, who have taken credit for the hack, but by “God’sApstls,” a reference that also appeared in one of the malicious files used in the Sony hack.
I note that John McCain has declared that this is an Act of War by N Korea. A bi-partisan approach to attack N Korea could be forged. He is already calling for the US to conduct a cyber attack on N Korea (which has the lowest internet usage of any country). When the cyberwar fails, the logical next step would be to bomb Pyongyang and then mount a US-led, coalition invasion from Okinawa. George Clooney and Angelina Jolie could organise a petition from Hollywood supporting such action. All of Hollywood would surely support such decisive action. The coalition could consist of Japan and S Korea at least. Maybe Cuba could be persuaded to join. Sony could have cameras embedded in every military unit. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert could make sure that the liberal population of the US could – for once – support the national pastime of going to war. James Franco and Seth Rogen clearly need special positions; perhaps they could orchestrate the invasion.
I see that the UN General Assembly has already passed a motion for the North Koreans to be referred to the International Criminal Court. The next step would be for the US to call for a special sitting of the Security Council. They could make a PowerPoint show a la Colin Powell, to show the world the evidence they have manufactured, and to get a suitable war resolution passed.
The entire N Korea narrative is probably nothing more than a media inspired narrative.