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Sony Hack: North Korea 1 - Freedom 0

KickIT

TRIBE Member
Clearly North Korea is behind making Sony crumble to its knees and forcing the cancellation of a $40M movie.

PS this photo is prime MEME material...

 

praktik

TRIBE Member
did NOT expect the retraction, I wonder if people actually got scared about the NK reaction and some Sony execs were spoken to by people in State Dept that maybe we dont need to drive up tensions in that part of the world right now??

Looking for the source that has the scoop on the shut off decision... please post any story with good dirt!
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
crazy story, especially given that sony is a technology company.

apparently, sony will never release the film in any format, in order to recoup as much as possible from its cyber insurance policy. (this could also make the cost of cyber insurance return to the insanely expensive costs that existed when the insurance first hit the marketplace.)

hopefully, a torrent of the film will leak at some point. then again, the reviews were not great so maybe it's no big loss. The Interview - Rotten Tomatoes

i wish the guardians of peace would next demand that sony give its spider-man rights back to marvel.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
^ i think sony was forced into the decision because all the big theatre chains, including cineplex in canada, refused to carry the movie. and the theatre chains did so, not so much because they were afraid of a terrorist attack, but because they thought the threat would cause movie-goers to stay home, thus hurting the box office returns for ALL of their films, including bigger box office draws like the hobbit.

sony was then left with the options to either (i) pull the movie entirely and never release it in any format, which would enable them to claim the entire loss on their cyber insurance policy, or (ii) release the movie only on v.o.d./bluray and have the insurer claim that its loss was completely mitigated because arguably the v.o.d./bluray sales would have been much higher due to the movie being pulled from theatres.

it seems to be a purely business decision on the part of all parties. but i'm just speculating based on what's been reported.
 
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Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
it would not surprise me if, in the coming days, sony and its cyber risk insurer, reached a deal to release the film on v.o.d./bluray in return for splitting the profits in some way. that seems like a logical conclusion given that all the media attention would likely make it the hottest v.o.d./bluray release of the year.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
^ i think sony was forced into the decision because all the big theatre chains, including cineplex in canada, refused to carry the movie. and the theatre chains did so, not so much because they were afraid of a terrorist attack, but because they thought the threat would cause movie-goers to stay home, thus hurting the box office returns for ALL of their films, including bigger box office draws like the hobbit.

sony was then left with the options to either (i) pull the movie entirely and never release it in any format, which would enable them to claim the entire loss on their cyber insurance policy, or (ii) release the movie only on v.o.d./bluray and have the insurer claim that its loss was completely mitigated because arguably the v.o.d./bluray sales would have been much higher due to the movie being pulled from theatres.

it seems to be a purely business decision on the part of all parties. but i'm just speculating based on what's been reported.

This makes more sense. THank you!
 

Musical Rush

TRIBE Member
the movie sucks NK is doing the world a favour, why are people so upset that a another shitty movie won't hit the theatres? Kim Long Dong Silver is a movie reviewer, if he says it sucks then it won't go into the theatres. We need more people like him, he's saving us money.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
You're right I will enjoy this movie the same I always would have, wait for the inevitable torrent, put it on when I have a lot of cleaning to do and chuckle 1-5 times.

They've lost their edge.
 
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DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
the west is getting soft.

america should drop the film on 10 million dvds over North Korea.

(although i'm not sure if most of the population has dvd players)
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Clearly one of the most critically important news stories compared to the collapse of the Russian economy, Canada bombing Syria and Iraq, the Pakistani mass school kid murder etc.
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
i actually think it is critically important news.

a tyrant is using cyber espionage and the threat of terrorism to curtail the release of unflattering satire in a foreign country.

There's certainly some parallels to when the Ayatollah issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie, or the similar brouhaha over the Danish cartoons (all of which was very newsworthy), but the added level of cyber espionage makes this a first.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
The real story is not that some stupid Hollywood movie was pulled from theaters - it is that Sony Pictures was completely taken down. Sony apparently had learned nothing at all from the playstation data hack.

We as consumers get our personal & financial info stolen daily because corporations like Sony, Target, Home Depot, while raking in profits, fail to take even the most basic steps to protect their digital infrastructure and our information in their care. And when our info is stolen we have zero recourse against them.

Do we blame North Korea when Target or Home Depot practically gives away our credit card numbers?

This slate piece is sensational, but it showcases how hackers completely fucked Sony Pictures:

The Sony Hackers Are Terrorists

We’ve never seen a cyberattack like this one. Here’s why it’s so frightening.

By David Auerbach

The Sony Pictures hack is important, and the Sony Pictures hack is terrifying.

In a series of cyberattacks that were first noticed on Nov. 24, a mysterious group calling itself the Guardians of Peace stole and subsequently leaked personal and medical information from every Sony Pictures employee, revealed scads of confidential internal information, left the company technologically crippled, and issued vague demands that “our request be met.” That last one increasingly appears to center on The Interview, a James Franco–Seth Rogen comedy about killing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which Sony is now offering theaters the choice of not showing. (As of today, the four largest movie-theater chains say they won’t screen the movie. Update, Dec. 17, 5:06 p.m.: After those exhibitors decided not to show The Interview, Sony Pictures announced that it had “decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release.”) We don’t yet know exactly who is behind this cyberassault. (Update, Dec. 17, 7:52 p.m.: The New York Times is now reporting that “American intelligence officials have concluded that the North Korean government was ‘centrally involved’ in the recent attacks.”) What’s clear, however, is that it represents a wake-up call that’s been coming for a long time.

The Sony hack isn’t important because of its technological sophistication, which is impressive but probably not particularly innovative. While neither Sony nor the FBI has released the exact details, so far there is little to suggest that this was some brilliant, unprecedented maneuver on the order of the NSA’s still-astounding StuxNet, a virus which managed to sneak its way into the isolated nuclear facilities of Iran and sabotage them. What’s remarkable is the sheer destruction leveled at Sony and its employees. For perhaps the first time, a major American company really did suffer a worst-case cyberassault scenario.

As someone who suffered through and reviled the hysteria of the post-9/11 era, I want to stress that most hackers, from script kiddies to the members of Anonymous, are not terrorists. The Guardians of Peace are different. With yesterday’s threat of violence against theaters showing The Interview—“The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001.”—I don’t know what else to call them.


Consider most of the high-profile hacks of recent years, like the theft of millions of credit card numbers from Target, or The Fappening’s stolen celebrity nudes from Apple accounts, or, indeed, the theft of 77 million Sony PlayStation accounts in 2011. All of these were costly, damaging thefts of private information, but they were fundamentally thefts. Not this time. While tabloid rags are salivating over the juicy Hollywood gossip and Aaron Sorkin is writing impassioned polemics against revealing stolen information, these hackers, whoever they are, genuinely do deserve to be termed cyberterrorists. Many attacks are for financial gain or revelation of valuable or salacious information. The latter is a factor here, but the overriding aim seems to have been to damage Sony Pictures and its employees to the point at which they could barely even function. To my knowledge, there has never before been a cyberattack of this scale. The Guardians of Peace didn’t just steal 100 TB (an ungodly amount) of sensitive data, they also used “wiper malware” to more or less destroy Sony’s internal systems, leaving its entire infrastructure crippled. Just consider what Kevin Roose of Fusion has reported:

Sony Pictures’ network subsequently went down for two days, forcing employees to use personal e-mail accounts, work from home, and in some cases, resort to paper and pencil to do their work ... “It’s just business as usual, if the year was 2002,” one Sony TV staffer wrote to me in a Facebook message. “[There are] lots of PAs having to run jump-drives back and forth all over the place, and hand delivering hard copies of files and scripts.”
Or what another insider told the Wrap: “Every PC in the company is useless and all of the content files have either been stolen or destroyed or locked away. ... The IT department has absolutely no idea what hit them.” Since Sony’s security “department” is apparently the Three Musketeers plus managerial overhead —“Three information security analysts are overseen by three managers, three directors, one executive director and one senior-vice president,” according to Fusion—I don’t blame them, though I do blame Sony Pictures. The studio’s security appears to be little better than Sony Playstation’s was in 2011, and probably worse.

Here’s the scary part: In terms of security, Sony Pictures wasn’t terrible, just average.

This is the real story. Sony Pictures’ systems were not just compromised but obliterated, with the company now sent back to what’s comparably the technological Stone Age. Because of the centrality of IT infrastructure to every aspect of a company’s functions, it’s not even clear whether Sony has the ability to pay people accurately at the moment, as its payroll system has been reportedly destroyed. In this, the attack resembles two other wiper incidents, as reported by Kaspersky’s Kurt Baumgartner: the 2012 “Shamoon” attack against Saudi Aramco, and the 2013 DarkSeoul attacks against South Korean banks and broadcasters. Those events skirted the line of cyberterrorism without quite crossing it. And while this attack is particularly damaging to Sony’s rank and file, the hack itself poses no threat to people’s lives or critical infrastructure. But by so effectively creating a climate of fear and making threats of actual violence, the Guardians of Peace have raised the specter of genuine cyberterroristic acts to come. These acts aren’t scary because they’re ingenious, but because they could be easily replicated by anyone with the right resources and enough malice.

Sony, in contrast, has played up the technical sophistication of the attack, which is both an overstatement and a distraction. FBI Assistant Director James Demarest said that 90 percent of systems couldn’t have withstood the Guardians of Peace’s attack, but that’s not really saying much. As we’ve seen in so many cases, the average state of cybersecurity is rather weak. I take Demarest’s number to mean that Google, Apple, Microsoft, the federal government, and other companies with serious security expertise could have easily withstood the attack, but companies closer to the average haven’t yet insulated themselves against whatever particular vectors the Guardians used to compromise Sony. That’s the scary part: In terms of security, Sony Pictures wasn’t terrible, but just average. It’s likely that comparable amounts of damage could have been inflicted on many companies via the same vectors of attack.

That doesn’t mean we should panic. Again, a good security system could have prevented the hack, but, compared to most previous attacks, this is a whole new ballgame. It’s not about money or humiliation. It’s about fear and wanton destruction, possibly with the intent of causing Sony and others to accede to the demand to “Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism.” The threat of the Guardians is serious, and they herald a world in which a bad security story may not just mean the loss of user trust and revenue, but the obliteration of a company’s ability to function. So as the media fiddles while Sony burns, wallowing in the stolen emails and pointing fingers, there’s much we all need to learn about our own security vulnerabilities and longstanding inadequacies. We need to do it now.

Sony Pictures hack: Why its perpetrators should be called cyberterrorists



***
 
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kuba

TRIBE Member
Although it is worrying that our data is being stolen, I often wonder what % of those who were compromised have had any impact whatsoever in their actual credit scores, finances, or lives. You often hear about how 100,000 customers data was taken, yet, never the actual impact.

Someone else said it best, alexd. This IS a major news story not because of the movie but the fact that a Japanese Company operating a movie division in Hollywood is choosing to scrap a movie based on the potential actions of a foreign country that is really a renegade country. If the media wasn't all over this (and yes the actor angle plays a big role in it for now) then what would the reaction be IF NK ended up doing something drastic?
 
Correction - it's the theater chains that capitulated to the demands of the hackers - Sony cancelled it after they lost the top 5 movie chains in the U.S., so there was no distribution possible.

Also, a very good article in Wired that shows why the NK angle is likely bullshit:

The Evidence That North Korea Hacked Sony Is Flimsy | WIRED

It sounds way more like a disgruntled employee who might have sold the info to the GOP hacker group who used the NK angle to their advantage.
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
that wired article is pretty weak and doesn't live up to their usual standard. They criticize the speculation of North Korea being behind the hack and then proceed to speculate they aren't. at least they had the integrity to add an update that states that Government officials have now gone on record that they believe NK was involved.

as long as we're speculating I don't think the hackers were literally from North Korea, but most likely hired by them. Most likely chinese or perhaps russian (perhaps hired by NK after they initially hacked sony, and they tried to play both sides off each other for a bigger payday).
 
Well, those Government officials - they're not on record really - no one will agree to being published as a source.

I do agree with you that it could be more likely that a Russian or Chinese hacker ground could be behind this, but the motives for a communist country to release the information that has been doled out (e-mails from producers regarding their embarrassing correspondence about celebrities seems a bit out there for NK to really give a shit about, as does releasing the early draft of the next James Bond movie, Spectre) seems like a stretch at best.

I do also think that people are overreacting to all of this immensely b/c of the ZOMG THEY SAID 9/11 statement.
 
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wickedken

TRIBE Member
lol like George Clooney has expertise in forensic analysis. he does work, though, to get whoever mad. fact is those screenings were cancelled not because of the alleged threats, but because of the actual likelihood Sony and the theatre would get sued out of existence if something actually occurred during a screening.

But Alex is right, why is this getting so much more coverage than the Target and other corps hacks that actually impacted 100s of millions of people?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Because there aren't the geopolitical angles in those stories - seems to me this "how is this newsworthy" angle is just a misfiring of a mechanism stuck on "FIRE", like a tennis-ball machine launching tennis balls of cynicism with the ON switch stuck and an unlimited supply.

IS it just me? Isn't the newsworthiness here pretty obvious in like, many ways??
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
fact is those screenings were cancelled not because of the alleged threats, but because of the actual likelihood Sony and the theatre would get sued out of existence if something actually occurred during a screening.
and you don't see the direct cause and effect connection between the former and the later?
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
vz - of course there is a connection, but I wouldn't be surprised if the motive was actually financial due to liability should something occur during a screening.
 
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