Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Sony Hack

If, Indeed, Nork Was Responsible, We  Capture Kim Jong Un's 3.5" Disk Collection And Hold It Ransom (Location Shown)
What We Know
Here are a couple of info dumps:
  1. Time's Things We Should Learn (Sony was a soft target: The CEO had his admin email him passwords--we know because the emails with the passwords were leaked ...)
  2. Vox has a bit of an explainer.
  3. Slate finds the wholesale destruction of the network (they were blasted back to 2002, says one employee) to be nothing short of actual terrorism.
  4. FiveThirtyEight thinks Sony bailed on around 100 million in revenue.
Where Are Your Balls, Sony? Paramount?
Sony canceled The Interview. Indie theaters decided to show Team America (which also insults North Korea). Paramount (which owns Team America) pulled the plug on that.
Come on, people. Yes, a movie is not worth anyone dying over--but we have almost zero evidence along any dimension that there is a substantial threat here. More people will probably be killed going to see The Hobbit (part III) than by Nork-driven anti-cinema terrorist action.

Unlike the Mohammad Cartoons, which have, at least, a world-wide jihad behind them, North Korea has the Juche Army behind it--which is to say: no one (outside of North Korea).

Does The Omnivore have any insight? Yes: it's this--one does not stand-down a terrorist attack. The idea that "the demands were met so they'll be pacified" is bullshit. To operationalize a terror-attack inside the US is a difficult and expensive proposition. If the actors could be traced to North Korea, they would never do it anyway: Nork does not want a shooting war with the US. If they could not be traced--and if North Korea was capable of launching something that would remind us of 9/11? They'd have done it already.

The real fear for the studios here is probably not that someone will be hurt or killed--but that their own not-up-to-speed computer defenses will be tested.

What Next?
The real first strike in a for-real cyber-war worthy of the name will be doing something like knocking out the power-grid or destabilizing the stock-market ... or taking down air-traffic control (or whatever). Some infrastructure / economic attack--not a private company hack that releases embarrassing emails.

On the other hand, the White House has promised a "proportional response" which intrigues The Omnivore. Certainly jailing the perpetrators--if they can be found--would be an obvious step ... but what else? The Omnivore suggests:
  1. Use domination of the air-space above North Korea to sky write insults to Kim Jong Un's mother.
  2. Hack Kim's 486 gaming computer using zero-day exploits in Win98 SE.
  3. Revoke his Disney Annual Pass.
  4. Pull Denis Rodman's visa.
  5. Start seeding The Interview on The Pirate Bay

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