Recently, the public was made aware of yet another successful hacking attempt on the Sony Corporation. In this instance, numerous embarrassing internal memos, along with personal employee information, wage distribution methods and unreleased were leaked to the internet. This humiliating scandal could possibly cause billions of dollars in losses to Sony Pictures since their movies are free to pirate on the internet, thereby decreasing their ticket revenues as anyone can simply download movies onto a computer and watch them.
The severity of the situation is explained by a quote from security researcher Adrian Sanabria, featured in a cited CNN article in which he states, “It’ll take Sony a year or more to go through it all and deal with the damage.”
With all of its valuable data on the internet, Sony is looking for suspects to blame this attack on, and right now, it’s looking at North Korea. Why would North Korea be targeting and hacking Sony Pictures? A possible answer to this question could be due to the upcoming Sony movie, The Interview, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen. The premise of the movie consists of the two main characters, played by the aforementioned actors, traveling to North Korea on a secret mission to assassinate Kim Jong Un, the country’s autocratic leader. This caused an outrage in the North Korea, leading to a statement from its Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The KCNA, in a press release, condemned the film and stated, “Making and releasing a film that portrays an attack on our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated.” Comparing the current North Korean outrage to the previous reaction to the animated satire film Team America: World Police, it is quite feasible that the hack on Sony could have been perpetrated by North Korean sympathizers. Unfortunately, there is no concrete evidence to suggest involvement of any of the suspected North Korean parties.
Right now, I believe Sony should be more worried about the future of their company and how they can prepare themselves to deal with serious threats like these in the future.
This hack raises serious questions about cybersecurity and the vulnerability of many of our nation’s economic centers, and I for one hope that we can improve our ability to tackle these types of attacks and prevent the leakage of private information.