North Korea responsible for Sony Pictures hack... The age of cyber warfare has begun

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polycounter lvl 7
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artquest polycounter lvl 7
So some really scary shit has been changing the world recently. Since we didn't have a discussion about how absolutely unprotected most of the world is from cyber attacks from foreign nations I figured I'd make a thread about it.

Even Obama has weighed in on the subject of sony giving in to North Korea's demands, saying "They caused a lot of damage and we will respond proportionally and in a place and time we choose."

http://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7423179/obama-says-sony-shouldnt-have-pulled-the-interview-promises-response


China can turn off the united states power at any time(and probably anywhere else in the world too) says the director of the NSA:


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/china-capable-cyberattack-shut-power-grid-nsa-article-1.2018316

And to tie this back into video games... apparently Watch dogs is pretty realistic. About half way through the video it gets into massive scale stuff.
[ame]


/Discuss!

Replies

  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi polycounter
    It's hard to imagine again what feeling powerless felt like.

    I'm being reminded of parents crying over their children that are terminally ill as a vaguely similar feeling.
  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 4
    yay a new cold war era
  • JedTheKrampus
  • McGreed
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    McGreed Polycount Sponsor
    The best hack they could ever do against North Korea, is not breaking their internet, but breaking their firewall and open up all the gates.
  • RN
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    RN polycounter lvl 4
    I don't understand how someone in another country can shut down a power grid in another country.
    What is the "door" that would be used?

    I have a computer at home with Windows XP that's connected to the Internet. Nobody can "hack" it unless I let them in deliberately.
    If I keep that computer running there is no way, as far as I know, that someone can "get in" no matter how many military resources they have.
  • MikeF
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    MikeF polycounter lvl 13
    Kryzon wrote: »
    I don't understand how someone in another country can shut down a power grid in another country.
    What is the "door" that would be used?

    I have a computer at home with Windows XP that's connected to the Internet. Nobody can "hack" it unless I let them in deliberately.
    If I keep that computer running there is no way, as far as I know, that someone can "get in" no matter how many military resources they have.

    its not about gaining access to a single machine, its about gaining access to the network its attached to, the computer is just an entry point.

    There are tons of webservers out there that are built into very powerful machines and most of the time they are left completely open. Stuxnet is an example of an attack that was (more than likely) meant to take down iranian nuclear enrichment facilities. By adjusting the speed that the centrifuges were running at they could easily stop production big time. The same applies for turbines at a hydro electric plant.

    All these things can happen, but there's no need to shit the bed yet.
  • Eric Chadwick
    This isn't anything new. The U.S. has been doing it, at least since 2006 if not earlier. Stuxnet, etc.
  • RyanB
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    RyanB Polycount Sponsor
    MikeF wrote: »
    its not about gaining access to a single machine, its about gaining access to the network its attached to, the computer is just an entry point.

    There are tons of webservers out there that are built into very powerful machines and most of the time they are left completely open. Stuxnet is an example of an attack that was (more than likely) meant to take down iranian nuclear enrichment facilities. By adjusting the speed that the centrifuges were running at they could easily stop production big time. The same applies for turbines at a hydro electric plant.

    All these things can happen, but there's no need to shit the bed yet.

    PLCs (programmable logic controllers) are used for all kinds of industrial applications. A specific type of PLC was the target of Stuxnet.

    Gaining access to specific controllers, either physically in a machine room or through an Ethernet module, is enough to cause serious damage. You don't need access to an entire network.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 13
    Kryzon wrote: »
    I
    I have a computer at home with Windows XP that's connected to the Internet. Nobody can "hack" it unless I let them in deliberately.
    If I keep that computer running there is no way, as far as I know, that someone can "get in" no matter how many military resources they have.

    Windows XP stopped getting any support at all about 8 months ago, the only way to protect your computer is to disconnect it from the internet completely.

    A report from 2004 said:
    "According to the researchers, an unpatched Windows PC connected to the Internet will last for only about 20 minutes before it's compromised by malware, on average. That figure is down from around 40 minutes, the group's estimate in 2003."

    I'd guess by now your computer has been mining bitcoins for months!
  • Steve Schulze
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    Steve Schulze polycounter lvl 13
    Would it be an unpopular opinion to suggest that greenlighting The Interview in the first place was a terrible idea? There would no doubt have been ramifications had it been about assassinating the leader of any other country in the world, albeit probably a little less catastrophic and more litigious.

    I don't condone any of the repercussions here, of course, but it seems like maybe this is a lesson that should and won't be learned from all this.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 13
    Jackablade wrote: »
    Would it be an unpopular opinion to suggest that greenlighting The Interview in the first place was a terrible idea? There would no doubt have been ramifications had it been about assassinating the leader of any other country in the world, albeit probably a little less catastrophic and more litigious.

    I don't condone any of the repercussions here, of course, but it seems like maybe this is a lesson that should and won't be learned from all this.

    Considering everyone has been casting NK as the bad guys for years they didn't give it a second thought. The Alamo Drafthouse was going to screen Team America instead but Paramount nixed that, showing that Team America probably would have gotten the same treatment if it came out today.
  • GarageBay9
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    GarageBay9 polycounter lvl 7
    Jackablade wrote: »
    Would it be an unpopular opinion to suggest that greenlighting The Interview in the first place was a terrible idea? There would no doubt have been ramifications had it been about assassinating the leader of any other country in the world, albeit probably a little less catastrophic and more litigious.

    I don't condone any of the repercussions here, of course, but it seems like maybe this is a lesson that should and won't be learned from all this.

    I'll object to this just on principle. Fear of expression or speech is the hallmark of people who are slaves to their rulers either by force or through lies (usually both).

    There's no words for how much it chaps my ass that people in our country are in effect being censored by a psychotic Stalinist government on the other side of the damn planet.

    Our grandparents would have been donating millions of tons of high explosives from 30,000 feet over that kind of crap.
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    McGreed wrote: »
    The best hack they could ever do against North Korea, is not breaking their internet, but breaking their firewall and open up all the gates.

    most people there don't own computers or phones. Many of them don't even own a TV (or basic things like bicycles). The few who have access to the internet are probably privileged / controlled / threatened enough to not do anything than what the "dear leader" tells them. North Korea is a sad place for most citizens/inmates - they live in a shit country and often don't even know if it's any better anywhere else in the world.

    Even watching TV of their "closest ally" China is a punishable offense. Traveling to the next village requires a permit. Buying a TV depends how good of a "socialist" you are and if you get permission from your boss. This place is truly fucked up. You have to feel sorry for all the brainwashed people there.
  • Muzzoid
  • Lazerus Reborn
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    Lazerus Reborn polycounter lvl 8
    Never understood why people fear north korea so much?

    South korea alone spends more a year on it's military alone than the whole of north's budget for everything. The reason they couldn't go around bombing places is because they can't afford it. They know they can be steamrolled with international support at any time.
  • Cay
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    Cay polycounter lvl 3
    @GarageBay9
    you should be so much more afraid of your own government(s) and the censorship already happening.. I haven't been to the UK(for example) in all my life.. but what they seem to be pulling off.. (and all that is public) is utter bullshit.. but let's not start that topic... it's neverending
  • dfacto
    NK hacked Sony? Or did the US hack Sony to justify action against NK, good ole Bush&Cheney style?

    Hard to not be completely paranoid anymore. :P
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir polycounter
    Never understood why people fear north korea so much?

    South korea alone spends more a year on it's military alone than the whole of north's budget for everything. The reason they couldn't go around bombing places is because they can't afford it. They know they can be steamrolled with international support at any time.

    Best Korea has the fourth largest military in the world. THE WORLD. They might not have as big a budget as other countries, but they have more than enough man power, and conviction.

    Best Korea's entire socio-political system is built around militarizing the entire country. If everybody is a soldier, everybody follows orders. And it works.

    Best Korea is also ruled by a bunch of bat-crap crazy people with access to real, working nuclear weapons who wouldn't even flinch at the thought of using one to retaliate to a military threat.

    That's why people are afraid of them.
  • Goeddy
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    Goeddy polycounter lvl 6
    to be fair though their nukes only reach as far as japan, wich they probably would destroy in case of any aggression.

    so they can't realy do anything to the US directly. and they know if they do something stupid they will be squashed in a second. the only priority they have is keeping their system stable.

    those recent actions are highly irregular behavior for NK though, it seems that something is changing over there.
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    I think the biggest risk in any conflict is the role of China. Not just when it comes to any military action, but how it will affect world economy when China is dragged into a war with the West, because at least on paper they're still allies with North Korea for the next years.
    But I think China is getting increasingly unhappy with NK. A PLA general recently openly discussed breaking with NK because of NK's erratic behavior. China would like if the NK leadership doesn't stir up any trouble, and as long as they keep quiet and act as buffer to the US forces in South Korea, little Kim can be as nasty as he wants to his people, without anyone in Beijing giving a damn.
  • xvampire
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    xvampire polycounter lvl 10
    I still dont get it why obama blame sony for not releasing the movie?



    http://www.canada.com/business/Sony+cancels+theatrical+release+Interview+after+cinema+chains+refuse+screen+film/10660603/story.html
    UPDATE: Sony Pictures has cancelled the release of The Interview after several major movie theatre companies refused to screen the comedy film following a threat of violence.



    http://boingboing.net/2014/12/17/cowardly-u-s-theater-chains-r.html
  • StephenVyas
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    StephenVyas polycounter lvl 12
    I like how he was saying "Americans cannot change their patterns of behaviour due to the possibility of a terrorist attack," he said. "That's not who we are, that's not what America is about."

    Meanwhile,
    The UK and the US hacked European Parliament and European Commission networks through Belgian internet provider Belgacom
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/uk-us-behind-regin-malware-attacked-european-union-networks/
  • Lazerus Reborn
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    Lazerus Reborn polycounter lvl 8
    ...

    That's why people are afraid of them.

    You are right in saying it's the 4th largest in raw numbers but that has a lot of flaws in itself. // Strategic spending SK vs NK on defense & offense //

    The majority of reported hardware is woefully out of date, some dating to the 60's and a few dossiers are suggesting that the new technology that they smuggle/manufacture is buggered due to fuel shortages + lack of maintenance.


    They also lack the ability to properly deliver a warhead

    Dont get me wrong they might get a few hits in but for all the burning devotion to their leader, they'd be a candle in a hurricane.
  • low odor
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    low odor polycounter lvl 11
    Sony Hype for awful buddy comedy..I am sure they will reluctantly release the film to people eager to show NK they can not take away their freedom to watch awful movies
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 8
    Meh 'The Interview' is probs already on the internet somewhere. And you can't threaten the internet with terrorism.
  • StephenVyas
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    StephenVyas polycounter lvl 12
    blazed wrote: »
    www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30560712

    I trust US's words as much as I trust NK's words.

    If I could have a super power sometimes I think just "knowing everything" would be the ultimate power. Imagine a world that can hold no secret from you :)

    On Saturday, the North Korean foreign ministry said: "As the United States is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation with it into this incident."
    "Without resorting to such tortures as were used by the US CIA, we have means to prove that this incident has nothing to do with us."


    :icon60: haha, +1 to N.Korea

    Edit:: I should mention that N.Korea are no saints either, especially with their prison camps. Just enjoying the verbal back and forth of it all.

    It's just really weird. This whole thing.
    Usually N.Korea is all about 'threats'.. They talk a big game, but really when it comes down to it. They won't cross that line.
    The actual act of hacking is so blatant, it's like writing your name in graffiti on your school wall.. & nobody is dumb enough to do something so obvious, are they?
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 13
    What Sony should have done is completely backwords, but man, it would have been perfect.

    Release the film for free on the internet with a message right before the credits saying if the person liked the film to pay what they felt it was worth. With X amount going to charities for displaced N. Koreans.

    Sony would have probably ended up making more from it than releasing it in theaters. Because people would watch and pay more than if it was just in theaters just to give the hackers the bird.
  • teaandcigarettes
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    teaandcigarettes polycounter lvl 8
    oXYnary wrote: »
    Release the film for free on the internet with a message right before the credits saying if the person liked the film to pay what they felt it was worth. With X amount going to charities for displaced N. Koreans.

    You blew your cover Mitt Romney! :poly142:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/18/mitt-romney-tells-sony-to-release-the-interview-fo/
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 13
    omg.. what does it say about me that we actually agree.. I'm scared.
  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
    dramatic ellipses in thread titles are mega lame

    let's break it down


    • North Korea responsible for Sony Pictures hack
    decent thread title

    • ... the age of cyber warfare has begun
    sounds like a movie trailer, or a lord of the rings prophecy



    let your thread stand on its own, don't pad out the title with histrionics
  • Chillydog3D
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    Chillydog3D polycounter lvl 5
    @Amsterdam Hilton Hotel

    Exactly.



    Also cyber warefare has been going for a while, just the general public never gave a shit before.
  • almighty_gir
  • Joao Sapiro
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    Joao Sapiro interpolator
    The producers of this movie must be orgasming with the free publicity they are getting. So want to see this movie !
  • fearian
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    fearian Polycount Sponsor
    Anyone who thinks sony "gave in" to terrorism by compromising their RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH! ('MURICA!) might not have thought through that Sony is in the movie business to make money, and its hard to have a good opening weekend when no major cinema chain will show your film. No doubt this newsfest will build hype around the film and they recover their losses.

    But fuck they better do it soon because this movie is gonna get leaked *HARD* asap.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir polycounter
    fearian wrote: »
    Anyone who thinks sony "gave in" to terrorism by compromising their RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH! ('MURICA!) might not have thought through that Sony is in the movie business to make money, and its hard to have a good opening weekend when no major cinema chain will show your film. No doubt this newsfest will build hype around the film and they recover their losses.

    But fuck they better do it soon because this movie is gonna get leaked *HARD* asap.

    100x this.
  • VelvetElvis
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    VelvetElvis polycounter lvl 6
    Here my take. I think in the end Sony did the right thing. Because all of the people criticizing Sony for not showing the movie, would be the first to criticize Sony for releasing the movie had an attack happen at a theater. This is 'Merica, the land of the lawsuits.

    They should just go direct to DVD/Streaming and rake in the sales from free publicity.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 7
    dramatic ellipses in thread titles are mega lame

    let's break it down


    • North Korea responsible for Sony Pictures hack
    decent thread title

    • ... the age of cyber warfare has begun
    sounds like a movie trailer, or a lord of the rings prophecy



    let your thread stand on its own, don't pad out the title with histrionics

    haha This is polycount man. Have some fun! We mix in a little seriousness but not too much.

    I know cyber warfare isn't exactly new, but it is the first time it's gotten into the eyes of the pubic and honestly I think it's going to begin to take center stage in the coming years. I wouldn't be very surprised to see people fear cyber attacks like they used to fear Russia's nukes during the cold war. It may yet shift to being dinner table conversation. Which is historically interesting.
  • ambershee
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    ambershee polycounter lvl 11
    Vulnerable infrastructure shouldn't be connected to the Internet anyway; it's common sense.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 7
    ambershee wrote: »
    Vulnerable infrastructure shouldn't be connected to the Internet anyway; it's common sense.

    True, but there are even reports of some factory software being hacked so that the update installer would drop malware into a factory to cause trouble, so it seems that there is always a way in.

    It kind of makes perfect sense though, computers do exactly what they're told. So just about anyone can give it an order unless you create software in a way to block input from everywhere except the correct channels. There just hasn't been a very big emphasis put on to making software safe for whatever reason. Maybe because it isn't cost effective to make software that way... but I imagine things are going to have to change.
  • ambershee
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    ambershee polycounter lvl 11
    Vulnerable infrastructure should also not be using an unverified installation package, hehe.

    It is however possible to let malware into a system through things like USB devices, which is why personal affects shouldn't be used either. This is normally how sophisticated malware makes it's way into things like power stations. The solution there is to not have standard ports, but to use custom hardware, locking down it's use to only internally handled hardware. It's not even that expensive to achieve in the grand scheme of things, just something that has been an oversight.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 7
    ambershee wrote: »
    Vulnerable infrastructure should also not be using an unverified installation package, hehe.

    It is however possible to let malware into a system through things like USB devices, which is why personal affects shouldn't be used either. This is normally how sophisticated malware makes it's way into things like power stations. The solution there is to not have standard ports, but to use custom hardware, locking down it's use to only internally handled hardware. It's not even that expensive to achieve in the grand scheme of things, just something that has been an oversight.

    A friend of mine used to work at a steel mill in the IT department before becoming a programmer for games. He said the people outside of IT just don't understand anything about computers and that it was really difficult to get anything approved that changed the day to day of the workers too much. I imagine it's like this in several places where new technology has invaded old industries.
  • EarthQuake
  • Torch
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    Torch polycounter lvl 7
    Not to derail the thread, but thought this was pretty good...


    north_korea.png

    south_korea.png
  • tadpole3159
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    tadpole3159 polycounter lvl 8
    EarthQuake wrote: »

    "if their going to abuse the internet the united states will take that power away from them completely"

    That rubs me the wrong way. Who gave "the united states" the right to police the internet.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 7
    "if their going to abuse the internet the united states will take that power away from them completely"

    That rubs me the wrong way. Who gave "the united states" the right to police the internet.

    I'm not entirely sure it's policing the internet yet. It's a direct response to something that was done to us. I see it similiarly to if you launched a missile at the united states, we'd probably fire back. Now the bombs are just inside of machines that don't physically explode, just economically.
  • Lexeus
    Aside from cutting power, how would cyber warfare affect the masses? I suppose the the most damage done may be dumping everyone's bank account. But other than that, what other (actual) harm would it do?
  • ambershee
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    ambershee polycounter lvl 11
    Why simply cut power, when you can cause irreparable damage to a nuclear power station's reactor?

    (Also, you'd be amazed how much damage cutting power to a very large area for an extended period of time can do!)
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 7
    Lexeus wrote: »
    Aside from cutting power, how would cyber warfare affect the masses? I suppose the the most damage done may be dumping everyone's bank account. But other than that, what other (actual) harm would it do?

    The amount of harm is actually pretty big when you look at the ripple effects in the economy. You could cripple an entire first world nation if you kept the power off long enough. A major disturbance would mean the loss of billions of dollars across several industries.

    Ever been without running water for a few weeks after a natural disaster? Seems like a relatively small annoyance at first until you realize that you've barely stored any food or water for such an occasion. Riots and looting break out as well. (Having grown up in florida and been through a few hurricanes I've been able to see a small taste of what happens even when people know the power is coming back soon!)

    But that aside... all the controllers for nuclear power plants, factories, oil rigs and pipelines run off of software. Software that can be hacked. A lot of equipment in those type of industries has to have software to govern it because from the time an alarm goes off to the time it will overheat/pressure gets too high is less than a second so it's not even possible to have humans monitor it. Even worse then turning the power off is to leave it on and wreck havoc on the equipment. Thats exactly what stuxnet did. It caused the fail safes to not go off and the centrifuges of a nuclear power plant in iran to spin faster then they should have which ultimately damaged them quite a bit.
  • almighty_gir
  • l.croxton
    Lexeus wrote: »
    Aside from cutting power, how would cyber warfare affect the masses? I suppose the the most damage done may be dumping everyone's bank account. But other than that, what other (actual) harm would it do?

    I'm not sure if you are from the UK so apologies if you already know about this!

    A few years back we had some pretty bad riots over the country over the shooting of a teenager. The reason in how this relates is that no one really rioted because of the teenager who died but because there was a large opportunity to do so. Hundreds were doing it so others thought they would join in.

    Its not so much the initial hack that is the dangerous part. It is what follows. If for example the UK's power was shut off I recon there would be riots and looting within hours. None of which is the hackers fault, but the repercussions of being hacked.
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