The following Friday, December 5th, 2014, the FBI is called in to examine threatening emails that Sony Pictures employees, and their families, received . [Source: CNET 12/2014]. The full email from #GOP, found at Variety, says:
"I am the head of GOP who made you worry.
Removing Sony Pictures on earth is a very tiny work for our group which is a worldwide organization. And what we have done so far is only a small part of our further plan. It’s your false if you think this crisis will be over after some time. All hope will leave you and Sony Pictures will collapse. This situation is only due to Sony Pictures. Sony Pictures is responsible for whatever the result is. Sony Pictures clings to what is good to nobody from the beginning. It’s silly to expect in Sony Pictures to take off us. Sony Pictures makes only useless efforts. One beside you can be our member.
Many things beyond imagination will happen at many places of the world. Our agents find themselves act in necessary places. Please sign your name to object the false of the company at the email address below if you don’t want to suffer damage. If you don’t, not only you but your family will be in danger.
Nobody can prevent us, but the only way is to follow our demand. If you want to prevent us, make your company behave wisely."
To add to the severity of this compromise, the FBI released a statement Saturday the 6th,regarding the malware used. The Bureau said "This incident appears to have been conducted using techniques that went undetected by industry standard antivirus software."[Source: USA Today 12/2014]
As of December 9th, FBI Director James Comey stated that the Bureau still has not identified who is responsible for the Sony Pictures compromise. [Source NBC 12/2014 ] This was amid speculations that North Korea was involved with the hack in retaliation to the upcoming release of the movie "The Interview."
The ongoing investigation led assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's cyberdivision Joe Demarest to say
"[T]he malware that was used would have gotten past 90 percent of the Net defenses that are out there today in private industry and [would have been] likely to challenge even state government," [Source CNET 12/2014]It still remains uncertain who is responsible for this hack.
On December 19th, 2014, the FBI officially concludes that North Korea is indeed responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures that occurred almost a month ago However, Steve Ragan of CSO's column Salted Hash offers up some interesting commentary and critique on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe into the attack. To briefly summarize Ragan's view, he states that while the FBI says that code found in the malware used for the attack, criminals often recycle code, so this shouldn't be a sole indicator that North Korea is responsible. [CSO 12/2014] The FBI saying that the IPs used are also indicative of North Korea's involvement, according to Ragan is also no smoking gun, as attackers can use proxies or other means to mask where they're really coming from [Source CSO 12/2014]
The truth of the matter is that for us laypeople we aren't privy to the investigation and can only speculate what is happening until authoritative sources reveal what is happening.
[Check back for updates]
Have something to say about the investigation or have updates to this article? Feel free to comment. Corrections to inaccuracies are welcome too. You may also email dcde[dot]transmission[at]gmail[dot]com
Sony Pictures hack time line
Sony Pictures Hack: The Malware