Reprinted from Antiwar
The progression of the government's case indicting North Korea for hacking Sony's computer system -- and revealing the petty ego-trips of Hollywood's glitterrati -- was succinctly summed up by computer security expert Jeffrey Carr in a pithy tweet:
"NK did it 100%
"OK, NK did it w/help
"OK, NK outsourced it
"OK, NK was told later and bought them drinks
"God dammit, NK is guilty of something"
The idea that Kim Jong-un was so enraged by a "comedy" that dramatizes his assassination -- and, in the process, underscores the juvenility of its creators -- was never all that credible to begin with. And the case for pinning the hack on the Hermit Kingdom goes rapidly downhill when one examines the initial communications from the "Guardians of Peace," as the hackers dubbed themselves, which never so much as mentioned "The Interview" and instead simply demanded money. It wasn't until the media and the FBI itself suggested a North Korean connection that the hackers picked up on this diversion and ran with it.
Speaking of diversions: the FBI announced a few days after the hack that they had "conclusive" evidence of North Korea's guilt. The malware, they said, was "similar" to the kind that had been used by suspected North Korean hackers in the past and was "in the Korean language." This is laughable, since a) the malware was widely disseminated and easily obtainable, b) the "Korean language" spoken in the north is significantly different from the southern dialect, and c) anyone who wanted to cover their tracks would be very unlikely to leave these rather transparent "clues."
What other "evidence" do the feds have? Well, it seems the malicious software unleashed on Sony's systems tried to contact an IP address (or addresses) "in North Korea," as the War Street Journal reported. Yet as cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr points out: "There is a common misconception that North Korea's ITC is a closed system [and] therefore anything in or out must be evidence of a government run campaign. In fact, the DPRK has contracts with foreign companies to supply and sustain its networks." Carr goes on to point out that the company that does this for the North Koreans is Loxley Pacific, located in Thailand...