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Sony Hack: Inside Job Theory Vs. North Korea Retaliation

Sony Hack: Inside Job Theory Vs. North Korea Retaliation

Norse, a cyber intelligence company, firmly believes that the Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE: SNE) hack was an inside job. The U.S. Government blames North Korea.

Many bloggers have argued about the real source of the attack, but there's one question few have remembered to ask: what if both claims are correct?

Scott Schober, CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems, thinks that U.S. officials have more information than they are willing to share.

"[The government has] said they can't release anymore," Schober told Benzinga. "Every time you try to push for more or dig in they won't tell you any more than [what we know]."

The rest is a mystery, but Schober said that he doesn't think the U.S. would "take the bold move to point their finger very specifically and go on record if it wasn't, in fact, enough information to substantiate" a claim. Doing so without the proper information would be "really risky," he said.

Schober theorized that North Korea may have had help on the inside. He said it may also turn out to be from a North Korean military group that hired hackers to carry out the attack. This would make it "sort of nation-state sponsored," he explained.

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'Several Terabytes Of Data'

The thing that throws security experts is how much data the hackers stole from Sony.

"They got several terabytes of data," Mark Skilton, professor of practice at Warwick Business School, told Benzinga. "They got access to a lot of information that seems very privileged. It felt more like a criminal act than a political act."

Thus, Skilton said he tends to agree with the theory that it was an inside job. However, he did not rule out the possibility that an insider helped North Korea carry out the attack.

"I would say that'd be possibly likely," said Skilton, noting that the FBI may be withholding some information. "If you look at the 2011 attack [on PlayStation Network], one would think that after 2011 they would have put in some additional safety checks. It would have hardened the security of the company. You can't go through the program, you probably have to be inside to break in, to put it simply."

Skilton doesn't expect a full report explaining why U.S. officials think North Korea was responsible for the attack.

"The way the attack was carried out…it feels like they would have needed some inside support to do this because of the technology and what was involved," Skilton concluded.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Posted-In: Berkeley Varitronics Systems Mark Skilton PlayStation NetworkPolitics Top Stories Exclusives Tech General Best of Benzinga


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