Today self resumed reading the Dec. 20 -21 Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition. There’s an article on hacking, because of course Sony.
When self first started seeing the previews for “The Interview,” months ago, she’d already pegged it as one of her “must-see” movies for the holidays. Then there was the notice that it was being pulled from theaters. Why? Because it angered the North Koreans and they threatened retaliation.
Well, actually, after reading the Wall Street Journal article, she knows it isn’t that simple. Someone hacked into Sony’s e-mails and found very embarrassing information that they then used to blackmail Sony into pulling the picture. (But that still doesn’t answer the question: Why did pulling “The Interview” appease the hackers. OK, maybe the hackers really were from North Korea –?)
Some interesting tidbits self gleaned from the article:
- The group that hacked Sony call themselves “Guardians of the Peace.”
- The sensitive e-mails included racist remarks about Obama.
- There are two kinds of hackings: opportunistic and targeted.
Opportunistic attacks are “low-skill and low-focus” (Sort of like pickpocketing? Crimes of opportunity of that nature?)
At the opposite end of the spectrum are “sophisticated attacks seemingly run by national agence agencies,” using tools like Regin, Flame, STurla, and GhostNet (Apparently, this last was used to spy on the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama, folks). And then there is the hacker group known as Anonymous, which was responsible for stealing those racy celebrity photos from Apple’s iCloud.
And sophisticated hackers do frequently end up having political targets.
There exists now a job description called “penetration testing.” Regardless of how skilled a penetration tester is, an expert and determined hacker, especially one with skill, funding, and motivation, “always gets in.” (Analogies are everywhere!)
Sony was at fault for “leaving so much information exposed” (like leaving your valuables exposed to a beggar or something like), but also for being “so slow” to detect the breach that the attackers had “free rein to wander about and take so much stuff.”
The ideal, of course, would be if people stopped making racist jokes about Obama, or exchanging flirty e-mail messages with co-workers — but, failing that, one should never use e-mail to do them. Because, according to the Wall Street Journal, “hundreds of personal tragedies must be unfolding right now” in Sony.
Personal tragedies like — divorce?
Anyhoo, if you’re at the level of exchanging censored e-mail with office workers, perhaps it’s better to air everything instead of living in an airless room, joylessly doing data crunching. Perhaps you do need a different job, or maybe even a different spouse. So maybe, if the affected people are forced to confront whatever issues made them do or say this or that unmentionable, it might be good?
Apologies for this very, very long post, and stay tuned.