Sony: North Korea ate our Q3 homework

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

1D, Adele braced for new Sony hack.

Sony announced Friday that it will miss the deadline for posting its third-quarter earnings report, blaming the hack that wreaked havoc on its movie division last year. A hacking attack on Sony’s film studio in November has forced the Japanese group to delay publication of its financial results as it struggles to bring its accounting systems back online.How U.S. spies used networks around the globe to follow the trail from North Korea to Sony — and penetrate one of the most impenetrable targets on earth The trail that led U.S. officials to blame North Korea for the destructive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November winds back to 2010, when the National Security Agency scrambled to break into the computer systems of a country considered one of the most impenetrable targets on earth.

One Direction, Adele and David Bowie are said to be bracing themselves for the possibility that they could become the next high-profile victims of the Sony hackers.TOKYO: Sony said Friday it was asking Japanese regulators for permission to delay the release of its earnings next month after a cyberattack at its Hollywood film unit compromised “a large amount of data “in its systems.

Sony is still suffering from the cyber attack it experienced in November, thought to have been carried out by North Korea in retaliation for the film The Interview. According to a filing with Japanese regulatory authorities, the company said it needs more time to repair its ailing IT infrastructure, which has remained offline since November in the wake of a massive leak of confidential information. The Wall Street Journal reports that the financial and electronics division will be finalized numbers but because of the scandal affecting the movie division it will not be able to provide those same amounts. ‘The third-quarter figures for Sony as a whole won’t be final, because the movie segment can’t report them by the original deadline,’ a Sony spokesman said.

Sony’s entertainment division was left crippled by hackers as it prepared to release The Interview, a fictional comedy about a plot to assassinate Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader. The electronics and entertainment giant said it was delaying its third-quarter results as its financial and accounting software was still not up and running following the attack. Citing “the amount of destruction and disruption that occurred, and the care necessary to avoid further damage by prematurely restarting functions,” Sony said they expect parts of the Los Angeles movie studio’s intranet to remain offline until sometime in February, preventing accountants from offering final numbers. Bloomberg reports that when the FBI told Sony that North Korea was behind the attack, they took their entire network offline including accounting and finances.

The attack led to the online leaks of unreleased films as well as thousands of confidential documents, including emails and revelations about pay that left executives embarrassed. A classified security agency program expanded into an ambitious effort, officials said, to place malware that could track the internal workings of many of the computers and networks used by the North’s hackers, a force that South Korea’s military recently said numbers roughly 6,000 people. General Electric has reported a 9 per cent rise in quarterly profit as its businesses that sell power-generating turbines and jet engines helped offset weak sales in its oil and gas unit.

Most are commanded by the country’s main intelligence service, called the Reconnaissance General Bureau, and Bureau 121, its secretive hacking unit, with a large outpost in China. Sony said it still planned to issue a press release and hold an earnings conference on the originally scheduled date “so as to provide investors, shareholders, analysts, media and other stakeholders with updated forecasts of Sony’s… results”. The cost related to the hack may cost as much as $169 million Amir Anvarzadeh, a manager of Japanese equity sales at BGC Partners Inc. in Singapore, said. Already personal information about many of their movie stars, including passport details, the pseudonyms they use and health records, have been leaked. “Bosses now fear similar details have been hacked on their music stars, including the demands each artist makes while on tour. McDonald’s has warned that business will be weak in the first half of 2015 and it is cutting its annual construction budget to the lowest in more than five years as it opens fewer restaurants in struggling markets.

This is same Sony (albeit another division) that was part of a lawsuit calculating $675,000 in damages because one college student pirated thirty songs. Obama’s decision to accuse North Korea of ordering the largest destructive attack against an American target — and to promise retaliation, which has begun in the form of new economic sanctions — was highly unusual: The United States had never explicitly charged another government with mounting a cyberattack on American targets. There is a lot of nervousness at Sony HQ.” The hackers have already revealed a top secret plan by Sony Music and CEO Michael Lynton to sell off the music publishing arm Sony/ATV, which owns Michael Jackson’s estate and the copyright to most of The Beatles’ songs. Sony denied the sale would happen and Lynton was said to have issued a blanket apology to Sony/ATV head Martin Bandier and CEO Doug Morris, apparently “in advance for whatever else comes out”. But in this case “he had no doubt,” according to one senior U.S. military official. “Attributing where attacks come from is incredibly difficult and slow,” said James A.

Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. Or the swell of multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuits? “Cybercriminals were able to perpetrate a breach of this depth and scope because SPE failed to maintain reasonable and adequate security measures to protect the employees’ information from access and disclosure,” read the suit in part. “Sony has statutory obligations to protect its employees’ employment and personnel records from unauthorized access, yet failed at numerous opportunities to prevent, detect, end, or limit the scope [of] the breach.” How does Sony intend to defend itself when its own internal (and, ironically, leaked) IT assessments noted that “information security concerns on a desktop are often left to a desktop technician/engineer to identify and resolve with no clear guidelines of responsibility”? The government spends billions of dollars on the technology, which was crucial to the American and Israeli attacks on Iran’s nuclear program, and the documents previously disclosed by Edward J.

Britain’s banks must do more to protect themselves and the wider financial system from growing and evolving cyber crime, the Bank of England said yesterday. To reiterate: on the heels of the largest corporate hack in history, in which terabytes of critical and private information were released to the public, Sony expects the impact to be negligible. Whether that impact is more or less negligible than Sony’s other major leak, which contained the payment information of 77 million users and resulted in a $15 million payout, remains to be seen. China’s manufacturing growth stalled for the second straight month in January and companies had to cut prices at a faster clip to win new business, adding to worries about growing deflationary pressures in the economy, a private survey showed. British mobile banking software maker Monitise said yesterday it has received “a number of expressions of interest” after putting itself up for sale.

Only in retrospect did investigators determine that the North had stolen the “credentials” of a Sony systems administrator, which allowed the hackers to roam freely inside Sony’s systems. In recent weeks, investigators have concluded that the hackers spent more than two months, from mid-September to mid-November, mapping Sony’s computer systems, identifying critical files and planning how to destroy computers and servers. “They were incredibly careful, and patient,” said one person briefed on the investigation. But he added that even with their view into the North’s activities, U.S. intelligence agencies “couldn’t really understand the severity” of the destruction that was coming when the attacks began Nov. 24. Toronto-based Oanda and Britain’s ETX Capital have joined the race to buy fellow online foreign exchange broker Alpari UK, looking to expand aggressively in the sector shakeout prompted by last week’s turmoil in the Swiss franc.

Jang Sae Yul, a former North Korean army programmer who defected in 2007, speaking in an interview in Seoul, said: “They have built up formidable hacking skills. For a brief time, it appeared ahead of South Korea and of China, which not only caught up but also came to build major elements of their economic success on their hardware and software. When they returned, they formed the core of the External Information Intelligence Office, which hacked into websites, penetrated firewalls and stole information abroad.

According to Kim, the military began training computer “warriors” in earnest in 1996 and two years later opened Bureau 121, now the primary cyberattack unit. Jang said they were envied, in part because of their freedom to travel. “They used to come back with exotic foreign clothes and expensive electronics like rice cookers and cameras,” he said. Jang said that as time went on, the North began diverting high school students with the best math skills into a handful of top universities, including a military school specializing in computer-based warfare called Mirim University, which he attended as a young army officer. Lim Jong-in, dean of the Graduate School of Information Security at Korea University, said those addresses were traced back to Shenyang, and fell within a spectrum of IP addresses linked to North Korean companies.

But after the North issued its warnings about Sony’s movie last June, U.S. officials appear to have made no reference to the risk in their discussions with Sony executives. The result is that U.S. officials began to focus on North Korea only after the destructive attacks began in November, when pictures of skulls and gruesome images of Sony executives appeared on the screens of company employees. (That propaganda move by the hackers may have worked to Sony’s benefit: Some employees unplugged their computers immediately, saving some data from destruction.)

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