Saturday, December 20, 2014

Here's the real reason North Korea hacked Sony. It has nothing to do with The Interview

Max Fisher says Here's the real reason North Korea hacked Sony. It has nothing to do with The Interview. "The effort that North Korean state media makes to convince us they're crazy gets to the three real reasons that North Korea launches these occasional attacks."

Those three reasons are:

  1. By appearing crazy North Korea's enemies (who are far stronger) try to avoid conflicts
  2. By keeping tensions high, they feed their internal propaganda machine, keeping the party in power
  3. it's really only two reasons

"This strategy of portraying itself as crazy is remarkably effective at securing North Korea's strategic goals. But it is also quite dangerous. By design, the risk of escalation is high, so as to make the situation just dangerous enough that foreign leaders will want to deescalate. And it puts pressure on American, South Korean, and Japanese leaders to decide how to respond — knowing that any punishment will only serve to bolster North Korean propaganda and encourage further belligerence. In this sense, the attacks are calibrated to be just severe enough to demand our attention, but not so bad as to lead to all-out war."

FYI, Ars Technica says State-sponsored or not, Sony Pictures malware “bomb” used slapdash code. "Compared to other state-sponsored malware that researchers have analyzed, 'It's a night and day difference in quality,' said Craig Williams, senior technical leader for Cisco’s Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group, in an interview with Ars. 'The code is simplistic, not very complex, and not very obfuscated.'"

Then again, Wired says, The Evidence That North Korea Hacked Sony Is Flimsy.

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