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Is it too late to apologize to North Korea for that awkward Sony hack scandal? Because new evidence seems to suggest that the cyber infiltration might have been an inside job by a former employee who lost their job months ago and was planning revenge.
This theory has been around for a while, even after our FBI fingered North Korea (and continues to do so to this day). The story has taken numerous turns, and the latest suggests that "some combination of a disgruntled employee and hackers for piracy groups" took down the major studio and created a cyber hack that compromised a lot of important data, according to Politico.
These findings come from a cyber intelligence company called Norse, which launched its own investigation into the Sony hack and have determined, on their own, that the evidence linking North Korea to the attacks on Sony are flimsy and circumstantial. Kurt Stammberger, Norse’s senior vice president of market development, said:
When the FBI made the announcement so soon after the initial hack was unveiled, everyone in the [cyber] intelligence community kind of raised their eyebrows at it, because it’s really hard to pin this on anyone within days of the attack."
Yet, the FBI maintains that the data they have points to North Korea as the culprit, leading some to wonder if the government has more data than is currently available to identify North Korea as the source of the damaging cyber-attack. In a statement provided to the media, the FBI claims that it has "no credible information" that indicates anyone other than North Korea perpetrated this attack.
The conflicting results of the studies conducted by Norse center around language used in various forums where hackers may have met to discuss the forms of malware that would be used to pull off the Sony hack. The firm Taia Global issued a linguistics analysis of the language used in these forums, and determined the nationality of the alleged hackers to be Russian, not Korean.
This investigation remains open, and there’s no telling when (or if) we’ll ever know the true source of the Sony hack. What seems evident, at least for now, is that since The Interview has opened, the steady stream of leaked, confidential Sony emails has slowed. But the damage caused by the information revealed likely will bleed into 2015, while we continue to wait to hear if a true culprit ever will be unmasked.