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Sony Hack: A Wakeup Call for the Private Industry against Cyberattacks

Sanjeev Relia writes:On November 24, 2014, personal information about Sony Pictures Entertainment employees and their dependents, e-mails between employees, information about executive salaries at the company, copies of unreleased Sony films, and other information were obtained and released by a hacker group going under the nickname “Guardians of Peace” (GoP).

On November 24, 2014, personal information about Sony Pictures Entertainment employees and their dependents, e-mails between employees, information about executive salaries at the company, copies of unreleased Sony films, and other information were obtained and released by a hacker group going under the nickname “Guardians of Peace” (GoP). After the cyber attack, Sony Pictures cancelled the release of its movie “The Interview”, which depicts an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Though United States intelligence officials believe the cyber-attack was sponsored by the North Korean government, the true identities and motives of the hackers remain unclear. The cyberattacks lasted over three weeks.

Initially North Korea agreed to cooperate in investigating if the cyber attack originated on its soil. Later, on 21 Dec 2014, North Korea backtracked and warned of strikes against the White House, the Pentagon and the US mainland in response to US suggestions that it might put the country back on its list of nations who sponsor terrorism. GoP also warned the American public against watching the movie in theatres. In response to the North Korea threat, President Obama said that the US would respond proportionately against these cyberattacks. The president regretted Sony’s decision of withdrawing ‘The Interview’ from release. The hacking incidence has been termed as an all-out cyber assault and has resulted in tremendous losses to Sony Pictures.

The entire episode once again clearly indicates the vulnerability of private global companies against cyber attacks both from state as well as non-state actors. The incidence also highlights how motivated hackers can at will choose to attack whatever they want, whenever they want. A lot still needs to be done to ensure security of our information and networks from falling prey to cyber threats like this.

Watch the American response on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oo2-0xvCZ8

 

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