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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

In hack, Franco and Rogen can laugh. Sony, not so much.

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Geek-on-geek crime isn’t a laughing matter.

Over the weekend, actors James Franco and Seth Rogen took to Saturday Night Live to make light of last week’s announcement of a November cyber attack on Sony’s entertainment division. In the show’s monologue, the stars of the upcoming film The Interview—the production that is suspected to be the impetus behind the attack—shared photos that they jokingly claimed has been been stolen from their phones, and a good laugh was had by all.

Well, maybe not all. It’s safe to say that Sony and its employees aren’t amused by the situation. In addition to 47,000 social security numbers and uncomfortable salary information, the breach is alleged to include details as personal as one executive’s breastfeeding details. The hackers say they have 100 terabytes of data which they claim they will release if Sony doesn’t comply with their demand to stop the release of The Interview, in which Franco and Rogen play journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean despot Kim Jong-un.

It remains unclear who executed the attack, but as this Reuters graphic makes clear, there is no shortage of bad actors. According to Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet report, the biggest source of attacks in the second quarter of this year was China, with 43 percent of attacks originating there—almost triple the 15 percent being launched from second-place Indonesia. And U.S. cyberspace is no haven either: 13 percent of attacks were reported to have been based from American IP addresses.

While some former Sony employees are contemplating  a class action lawsuit, North Korea continues to deny involvement, instead suggesting that its supporters (North Korea has supporters?) were behind the “righteous attack.” Whoever it was, the mere scope of the stolen data means that this could be a headache for Sony for a long time to come.

Internet security

Reference: Mike Corones

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