The FBI, the president and many ordinary folks have pinned the blame for the massive Sony hack on North Korea. The case against the country seems obvious because of its strong opposition to the Sony move "The Interview."
But, now those allegations don't seem so cut and dry. A major cybersecurity firm says it has evidence that points the finger in another direction.
Instead of accusing North Korea, many in the cybersecurity community think the attack might have been pulled off by someone with an inside knowledge of Sony. One of those companies, Norse, says it has even pinpointed six people in the U.S., Thailand, Canada and Singapore who probably had something to do with the attack.
The list also includes a former decade-long Sony veteran who “worked in a technical role” and was laid off in May. Norse previously identified the ex-employee as “Lena,” and said she claimed to have connection to the “Guardians of Peace” hacker group that took credit for the attack against Sony, which has so far resulted in leaked employee information, executives’ emails, unreleased films and the limiting of “The Interview” theatrical release in response to a terrorist threat.
Norse recently shared its findings with the FBI in hopes of helping with the investigation.
On Monday, the FBI said it's sticking by its guns. It says all evidence still points at North Korea. But, Norse has some convincing evidence on its side.
Norse looked through leaked human resource documents to red flag former Sony employees who might have the motivation and know-how to pull off the Sony attack. This helped it pinpoint a former employee who may have been angry following layoffs earlier this year.
After examining intercepted communications of other individuals engaged in contact with hacker and hacktivist groups in Europe and Asia (where the Sony hack was routed through), Norse connected one of those individuals with the Sony employee on a server that featured the earliest-known version of the malware used against Sony.
Norse was also able to connect the same former employee to sites like Pirate Bay, where people often post pirated versions of movies online for illegal free download.
So, was it North Korea or these six hackers? Were they working together? At this point, we'll just have to wait and see as more evidence comes in.