Pando

Did North Korea seriously hack Sony just because of a Seth Rogen movie?

By Nathaniel Mott , written on December 2, 2014

From The News Desk

North Korea must not be amused by the premise of "The Interview," an upcoming film in which Seth Rogen and James Franco are asked to assassinate the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, for the CIA.

Numerous reports claim the country is responsible for a hack thought to have allowed the attackers to release confidential files, leak upcoming films, and take control of the corporate Twitter account used by Sony Pictures, the company responsible for the Rogen-Franco flick.

The FBI issued a warning to other businesses on Monday stating that the malware used in the attack is particularly devastating because it overwrites all data on infected hard drives. The agency is investigating the attack with help from the Department of Homeland Security, and Sony has hired the Mandiant incident response team to help it recover from the attack.

It might seem strange that North Korea is thought to be responsible for such a noteworthy attack, but as Re/code explains in an article about the country's cyberwar army, it's actually among the most dangerous digital attackers in the world. Its hackers are said to have gained access to US military systems more often than Russia, China, or Iran, its allies in cyberwar.

Still, hacking a movie studio because it backed a film about a fictitious attempt to kill off Kim Jong Un is a bit of an overreaction, even for a company as bizarre as North Korea. Why even bother? It's not like Sony's going to pull the plug on the movie, which is scheduled for release on December 25, and now North Korea's just drawn the ire of United States agencies like the FBI and DOHS.

There are a few possibilities: either other, more important targets have been affected by this attack and we just don't know it yet; or a strange affinity for Dennis Rodman isn't the weirdest thing about a country that seems devoted to all things outrageous and nonsensical; or North Korea isn't behind the attack, as some have suggested, and just likes the attention.

Though it might be fun to blame such an attack on a film about two bumbling idiots trying to assassinate Kim Jong Un, it might just be too good to be true. Still, it doesn't hurt to hope, I guess. Maybe Santa decided to come early this year to give us the gift of watching this unfold.