Monday, December 22, 2014

My thoughts on the Sony crisis

Lots of you have asked my opinion, not that it matters, but here ya go.

First of all I thought it was a great story when they did it on THE GOOD WIFE two weeks before Sony was hacked.   Yet another reason why it's the best show on television.

As for all the ramifications of the North Korean’s hacking Sony and pressuring them to cancel the release of THE INTERVIEW, like I said on Twitter -- the North Koreans had no problem with EXPENDABLES 3?

Look, Sony was between a rock and hard place. They cancel the release and people say they’re caving to terrorists and we need to protect our First Amendment rights. But were they to release the film and one person got injured at a theater people would be screaming that Sony only cared about profits and not the well-being of the public.

President Obama said they should have called him first. Really? You can just do that? Call the president when you have a problem? What’s his number? Maybe he can get ALMOST PERFECT finally released on Netflix.

I’m curious as to what our government’s appropriate response will be. Get Carrie Mathison out of Afghanistan and put her on the next plane to Korea.

There have been some in the industry who have ripped the media for reporting all the dishy email exchanges. They make very valid points – it’s an infringement on privacy, nothing illegal was exposed, etc. But still – come on. There are entire industries built on airing Hollywood’s dirty laundry. The public loves that shit. And always has. If Scott Rudin calls Angelina Jolie a "spoiled brat" news outlets are going to run with it.  Most of the time Hollywood feeds these media outlets themselves. They can’t claim “Any publicity is good publicity” and also say “Our affairs are nobody’s business.”

And while we’re on that subject, Amy Pascal really needs to use spellcheck.

As these events unfold day after day I can’t help but scratch my head and think – this is all over some shitty Seth Rogen comedy?

North Korea might be behind it, but they had some help. This was clearly an inside job. Somebody who knew where all the bodies were buried. Has there been a Sony employee who got docked for punching in late one day?

Am I the only one who noticed the GUARDIANS OF PEACE go by GOP?

Here in LA, even the billboards for THE INTERVIEW are hastily coming down. God forbid the North Koreans see on spy satellite that the billboard is still up on La Brea and Venice Blvd. They might take military action.

Ultimately, somebody is going to take the fall for this fiasco. It could be Amy. Work on that spell check before you send out resumes.

To me, maybe the most disturbing aspect of this story is that George Clooney drafted a petition denouncing North Korea’s action. He circulated it to all the big stars, studio execs, agents, and pretty much anyone in power in Hollywood, enlisting their support.

No one would sign it. No one.

What a gutless industry. And then they’ll go on award shows and praise themselves for their courage and risk taking. They’ll wear pretty colored ribbons in support of “causes” they care so deeply about. Meanwhile, they’re terrified some nameless nebulous “evil doer” will think unfavorably of them. It’s like the movie FORCE MAJEURE. A husband tries to save himself over his family during an avalanche. That’s Hollywood except they race to save themselves at the first sight of snowflakes.

No one signed.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the Sony hacking. How to better protect computer systems, how to respond to cyberterrorism, how to cover stories like this, how to pay more attention to spelling, and when things get tough – how to run like hell away.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Look, Sony was between a rock and hard place. They cancel the release and people say they’re caving to terrorists and we need to protect our First Amendment rights. But were they to release the film and one person got injured at a theater people would be screaming that Sony only cared about profits and not the well-being of the public."

Exactly, thanks for saying that! I've been trying to say this all week. And besides, what are they supposed to do, force the theaters to run the film?

MikeK.Pa. said...

First, caught bits and pieces of your show last night while bouncing between HOMELAND season finale and a hockey game. Loved the Buffalo Springfield story. No Moby Grape, but the Electric Prunes was close enough.

Some thoughts on today's blog.
"Maybe he can get ALMOST PERFECT finally released on Netflix." Maybe you can get a small island nation (what's Grenada up to these days?) to make a threat (launch a Zeppelin attach) if ALMOST PERFECT is released. A variation of THE MOUSE THAT ROARED.

"Get Carrie Mathison out of Afghanistan and put her on the next plane to Korea." Carrie's finally back in the States, but Quinn is somewhere in Afghanistan or Iraq, so probably an easier job for him.

"What a gutless industry." Really? Blow me over with a feather! The original GOP has always despised Hollywood. Now you have two GOPs (Guardians of Peace) doing the hating.

Dan Ball said...

I wish this hacking would work in the other direction. Instead of getting bad movies cancelled, it gets good ones made--or TV shows that rhyme with STAR TREK. Or any more shows that rhyme with anything that Ken Levine and David Isaacs created. Actually, if this kept more bad movies from being released, this might be a good thing.

On a serious note, I did think it was poor taste to air Sony's dirty laundry. I mean, how is that any different than the actress's nude pictures that were released a while back? The media had enough sense to hold back on releasing those, so what's different about these Sony emails? It's weird to see a business not being treated like an individual like Washington lobbyists do.

Anonymous said...

Last week I watched President Obama talk about how, though American involvement in the Afghan was is coming to an end, there are still Americans in harm's way around the world, doing it for us and how they should know we haven't forgotten them.

I thought of those people, so many making a princely $35,000 or less a year, who take the chance of a bullet or a bomb on a daily basis. Then I thought of the the brave people in Culver City who tremble in fear at the thought of their emails being read. Some of that made me really proud to be an American. Enjoy your year-end bonuses, Sony.

-30-

emily said...

Doctor Evil picked up on the GOP too.emily

Hamid said...

One of the interesting things to emerge from the hack was the email Jonah Hill sent in which he called the idea of a Jump Street/Men in Black crossover "clean and rad and powerful."

People still say rad?

Anonymous said...

I was sitting in a room with Sony employees watching the president's news conference last week and got a first-hand reaction to his comments about it being a "mistake" to cancel the Christmas day theatrical release. All of these people had just had their identities stolen along with files detailing their medical conditions, children's information and bank accounts. They will need protection for the rest of their (and their families') lives. It was a slap in the face for the president to expect them to make a stand on this issue when they have been so deeply affected. The people calling for Sony to be brave have often turned out to be cowards themselves (excellent point about Clooney's petition). Go back to Obama's comments about Benghazi and the youtube video criticizing Islam and he was all for censorship. Is he willing to send out the national guard to protect 3000 theaters on Christmas day just so a pretty bad film, by all accounts, can play second or third fiddle to Into the Woods or Top Five? Ken, you nailed it -- the only responsible thing for Sony to do is to respect the wishes of theater owners and pull the film. But, that doesn't mean it is canned. (They could have let the critics do that!) It will eventually find a distributor and get shown to a much larger audience than it deserves. Whether you want to call them terrorists or not, the hackers managed to inflict a lot of pain on a lot of innocent people for something they had no control over. That's not a win, that's just evil. People who aren't affected or at least willing to risk their own safety to fight this battle, really have no business saying Sony caved or destroyed free speech or whatever. They need to step up or shut up.

bevo said...

I am not buying the North Koreans did it argument. Swap Iraq for North Korea and weapons of mass destruction for hacking. You are reading the same story. Where is Judith Miller to tell us that the North Koreans have two T-1 lines.

It is North Korea for god sakes. Their technology amounts to nothing more than some AOL dial up accounts and a few TRS-80 computers. The Pyongyang Radio Shack produces gangbusters store numbers for a reason.

As to who did it? I am going with Seth Rogin's agent, James Franco's agent, or Amy Pascal herself.

McAlvie said...

I suspect that The Interview will be seen by many more people when it is eventually released someway, somehow, than it ever would have in the theaters, thanks to this hullabaloo. So if North Korea thinks they one that one? Really, how many people outside of Hollywood would have paid any attention otherwise? Rogan couldn't have scripted this better.

Hacking Sony ... well hacking in general is really bad manners, in bad taste and just plain wrong. But putting anything you'd be ashamed of in a digital format that goes winging off into the ether isn't very smart. If you really want privacy, spend the price of a stamp. The U.S. Mail carries more legal protection and can't get hacked. If you insist on using your free email account, you will get what you pay for.

Mike Barer said...

You are right, it was a no win situation for Sony. Great pub for the movie, though.

Anonymous said...

As a rule, I'm not a spellcheck Nazi, "bit" since you brought it up (three times)... really?

"They make very valid points – it’s an infringement on privacy, nothing illegal was exposed, etc. Bit still – come on. There are entire industries built on airing Hollywood’s dirty laundry."

Canda said...

I've always felt half the people who wear ribbons at award ceremonies are afraid not to take them and put them on when they're shoved at them at the door of the event.

The President should be asking himself why he didn't have the courage to come out for gay marriage in 2008, when he ran for President, since he had publicly stated in an interview in a gay newspaper in Chicago in the 1990s that we was for gay marriage. Same with Cuba. He said he was for the embargo being lifted when he was a State Representative in Illinois, yet he curried favor with the anti-Castro Cuban community during the election. Where is the courage when you could really stand on principle, instead of political expediency?

alkali said...

As these events unfold day after day I can’t help but scratch my head and think – this is all over some shitty Seth Rogen comedy?

I don't disagree with most of what you have to say here, and of course I haven't seen The Interview. But did you actually see his last effort, This Is The End? It was a lot smarter than you might imagine.

blinky said...

Remember the best like from Mars Attacks? The grandma watching TV as the martians blasted Washington: {laughing} They killed Congress!
You could substitute Hollywood in place of Congress and the laugh would be just as big.

Anonymous said...

Wake up call! The 'regime' is organized crime that took over an entire country. This is just a shake-down. The goal: give us billions and we'll leave Sony alone. Stay tuned.

Mike Schryver said...

I noticed the GOP thing, as I'm sure a lot of others did. The joke was too easy, though.

Ken Levine said...

Yeah, well you know me, always go for the easy joke.

BT said...

I understand that a lot of publications couldn't resist publishing the juicy details that were leaked. (Although, isn't a little weird when you're getting your entertainment gossip from international criminal hackers, or possibly the North Korean government?) What seemed hypocritical was when some of these same websites went after Sony for being gutless because it didn't want to risk more damage (hello, Gawker). Talk about adding insult to injury!

Peter Zucker said...

Call me crazy, but is it hard to believe that that mini me dictator has such a thin skin that he was threatened by a movie? If NK is behind this I'm damn glad I got to see Team America: World Police before it had a chance to be hacker centric.

Sidebar - While it sucks for SONY, they may just be on the front lines of a new kind of warfare. Time to shore up or the grid may be coming down next.

cshel said...

Ken -

I agree with you that Sony, and the major theatre chains, were "damned if they do, damned if they don't" regarding the release of The Interview. And I read another point that it could have kept people away from seeing other movies at theatres where it was playing, and hurt business overall.

But that George Clooney petition to denounce North Korea seems kind of silly to me. Which is why I think most people ignored it. It's like sending around a petition saying childhood cancer makes me sad. Or saying if you don't wear this color ribbon on TV then you must like AIDS. Does it not go without saying, or petitioning, as the case may be? Maybe I'm missing the point.

Mike said...

The President is lying. Sony's action was vetted by the State Department. He was undoubtedly aware of the decision beforehand.

On top of that, theaters were not dropping the film. There were theaters that elected to show Team America in its place, though upon hearing that news, Paramount pulled the film. Then Steve Carell's movie got cancelled.

It shouldn't be surprising given how much Hollywood is afraid to show Muslims as the bad guys. I guys everything will be neo-Nazis from now to eternity.

donald said...

I think ya got that backward Mike, but hey (!) I gotta another angle, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Anonymous said...

Having been a working writer in Hollywood for twenty + years, I see "so many sides of the fence." Yeah.
1) There is the fact no studio has ever made a film naming a living dictator in a real country as some one to kill. That has got to be the smarmiest piece of Hollywood sleaze ever. The gall and balls of those execs who green lights such a piece of crap is appalling.
2) Sony's arrogance is apparent. And why not, they put quality films in turnaround Hell and green light crap.
3) With the exception of a few good men (like Robert Greenblatt, Todd Black) and women (like Randa Haines, Diane Ladd, Laura Dern), very little quality films are made "within" the industry.
4) I know a lot about network security. As a member of the WGAW, I was an active member of the "Interactive Development Committee" which had to do with how we screenwriters could stay relevant by learning about this "Internet Web" thing. Some embraced the future; others did not.
In 1995, I hired and edited the first training book on same with my friend Marcus Goncalves (one of the most eminent network and internet security experts in the world). Bottom line: there are simple network server farms (as they are called) that can easily be set up off-line. Within secure protected areas (of Sony, the Federal Government, or those of us at home). If you don't encrypt your email, you're stupid. If you don't build a hardware-based private network for your business, you're asking for hackers to steal from you. If you don't protect your intellectual property rights, well, I guess you just aren't very smart. This is the age of technological feats of the first order.

However corporations, mom and pop businesses, and the Federal Government better get up to snuff on their JavaScript, C++, CSS, even basic HTML -- or they're all screwed. Which means if they have our personal information, we are too. You can't put the techno cat back in the back.

donald said...

Um, cause he is nothing Remotely resembling the unicorn you and your fellow travelers have constructed?

donald said...

That Assassination of George Bush film got made. That was cool!

Here's the deal. NK didn't do this, some pissed off Sony nobody did it. The real fear, is there is more, and it exposes even more Hollywood leftist hypocrisy when it comes to bigotry.

And. This. Cannot. Be. Seen.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Sony did the hack themselves to get some buzz for their movie.

SF said...

I do not blame Sony at all. They are a business that is in the business of movie making. It was the job of leaders to take a stand. To get in touch with Sony, the movie theater chains, and say we have your back. For example, why not just say we are going to do a limited release -- 100 theaters -- just to show we will not back down. And the federal or local government should have put police officers and agents at the building, at the door, inside the theater. After 9/11, there were cops stationed at the entrance to all the bridges here in the Bay Area. What would they have done? Nothing, but their appearance meant everything. Here, they could have appeared and actually done something. So it's not Sony's fault, it's leadership that fails to lead, that fails to understand that more is at stake than it appears. Ricky Gervais, who I know is not well-liked in Hollywood, likes to refer to Winston Churchill during WWII when they wanted to cancel some play or something-- and Churchill's response was something like "Cancel it? Then what the hell are we fighting this war for?" Where have you gone Winston Churchill?

Where is the leadership in DC, NY, LA, or even SF? Any coincidence of the political affiliation of the leadership in all of these places is purely coincidental (but I won't swear to it).

Anonymous said...

Hello Ken,

Another great blog post. In today's litigate/sue everyone for anything society - Sony had no choice. If one movie goer ever got hurt during this there would be 3 inch headlines calling for all of Sony's heads.

That being said- The President (& the rest of the govt) could screw up a one car funeral. I have no faith in any of them- except to spend money we don't have.

As for George Clooney, he's just a typical "Hollywood". Passing around a petition really does reek of middle school. --LL

Eric J said...

I think a major exec at Sony WOULD be able to pick up the phone and ask for the president esp. if it concerned North Korea. I don't see how that would have been a good idea, though.

You are the only one who has pointed out that this centers around a shitty Seth Rogen/Joe Flako movie. Should North Korea have veto power over "movies" like this? If there will finally be someone in the loop who can kill these and Adam Sandler movies, then how can it be a bad thing?

Diane D. said...

cshel is the first person who has expressed the opinion I had of George Clooney's petition. It seemed a little silly.

I also thought Ken was a little hard on the industry in general ("What a gutless industry"). Regarding the studios and the business end of film/TV I suppose most would agree, but he seemed to include the creative side as well. Over the years I have to come think of actors, writers, directors, etc as very courageous people, first for having the guts to even go into this field and then to persevere through endless ups and downs. This very blog has confirmed my opinion when I have read Ken's stories.

I don't think I would be quick to judge such people for not wanting to needlessly sign a petition denouncing a "nameless nebulous, evil-doer."

Anonymous said...

"All of these people had just had their identities stolen along with files detailing their medical conditions, children's information and bank accounts."

Really? All of that was on Sony's computers? Nowhere I've ever worked did they have my medical records and my children's 'information' (not sure what that means, other than to include children in it).

AlaskaRay said...

I’m curious as to what our government’s appropriate response will be. Get Carrie Mathison out of Afghanistan and put her on the next plane to Korea.

I heard that the entire N Korean Internet crashed today. Possibly the work of the USA, or maybe my wife just tried to shop online again.

mdv1959 said...

I don't blame Sony for pulling the film, I blame them from not learning how to protect their network and finding themselves in this position. (You'd think after the Sony Game Network was shut down for 3 weeks in 2011 by hackers and cost them millions Sony would have decreed a corporate wide review)

Another lesson, never say anything in an email that you couldn't live with being made public. Sure it was hackers this time, but those emails could have just as easily been subpoenaed in a lawsuit and been published.

Scott Cason said...

I'd be more than happy to chip in and buy Sony a few Cisco firewalls if they are that hard up for cash. What's MORE telling to me is that nobody Clooney contacted wanted to sign on with him denouncing this. Remember this the next time they are patting each other on the back at some awards show. Normally it's Hollywood doing the bullying, but let someone bully them and they fold like a cheap suit. Ass clowns, all of them.

Bill B said...

Ken,

I didn't know about the petition until I read this, but I like the fact that nobody would sign it.

Sony made the right decision, Obama made the wrong decision to say that Sony made a mistake. If Sony released it and people got hurt, Obama, like any president, would simply just send his condolences.

Jimmy Carter said...


This idea of defending America's freedom of speech over a stupid Seth Rogen movie is absurd.

The First Amendment is meant to be protected with people using their basic common sense (which most mainstream Hollywood comedies do not), it's not to be abused in stubborn arrogance, people could have potentially got hurt over the idiotic movie.

Sony made the right call, why not just release the stupid movie for people to stream in their homes?A place where chances are the North Koreans are unlikely to hurt people.

Pat Reeder said...

Does anyone else remember Clooney accepting an Oscar by lauding Hollywood for its courage in talking about AIDS and civil rights when the rest of us slopebrows were just switchin' flies and lynchin' colored people? It inspired the "South Park" episode about Colorado being threatened with a cloud of toxic smug, emanating from Clooney's Oscar speech.

Wonder if he still thinks all his Hollywood pals are profiles in courage?

I also second what Dan Ball said. When this first broke, I asked if all the actresses who complained that looking at their hacked nude selfies was tantamount to rape would studiously avoid reading the hacked Sony emails or pour over them, looking to see if their names were mentioned?

Personally, I'm not shocked by the cravenness, hypocrisy, tastelessness, dumb business decisions or closet racism. I'm just surprised that people who are such highly-placed executives not only don't know how to set up a secure network, they are also apparently borderline illiterates.


Wendy M. Grossman said...

To various Anonymi: People's private information and medical details (in some cases) were in email and I believe also in various company databases. If you look at the tech press - ars technica, gizmodo, you'll see that this fact is well attested. Sony made many stupid security mistakes that have been highlighted, not least failing to encrypt data. The plight of the employees was my first thought (my net.wars column last Friday focused on them): even if theaters had been willing to show the movie I can't see how the company could legitimately risk retaliation against the employees who were already at risk of identity fraud, theft, and other unpleasant privacy invasions.

wg

Johnny Walker said...

I don't buy the idea that Sony would be blamed for a terrorist attack for one nanosecond. What lunatic would side with the terrorists? Sure, if theatres don't want to show it, what can Sony do, but burying the film was a terrible, cowardly reaction...

So the next fascist dictator doesn't like Jennifer Aniston or Johnny Depp, and sends a vague email to someone. Will all their films be pulled, too? Where does it end? You can't let a foreign foreign government control what we see.

And it doesn't even need to be a fascist dictator. The threat in question was deemed to be without merit by Homeland Security. Don't like Brad Pitt? Now might be your chance to sink his career. Just send a few empty threats to the right person and bingo!

I get that many don't care about seeing a Seth Rogan/James Franco movie, but what happens when it IS something you care about? Pulling the movie set a TERRIBLE precedent.

As it turns out, North Korea are now insisting they had nothing to do with the Sony hacks, and are threatening violence unless someone in the US publicly states they weren't involved. Already they are making more demands. There's a reason that you never negotiate with terrorists. Doesn't anyone remember Neville Chamberlin?

Johnny Walker said...

Pat Reeder: I'd rather have my work emails shared with the public than my private ones, wouldn't you? And it makes perfect sense that employees of Sony would search for themselves to see what had been leaked. It doesn't mean they then deserve to have their intimate private photos shared with everyone as retribution.

mmryan314 said...

You know- I`m somewhat advanced in age and even I know enough about cyberspace to know that you NEVER put written words out there.I actually learned that from teaching middle school students... and here I am, living on an Educator pension and not running Sony. Go the F...figure.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Thanks, Ken. I think Sony did what many entities do when faced with a dilemma - take the safest choice. That doesn't make me thrilled with it or proud of it, but the downside for Sony was what? Taking some heat for lack of spine? They had to know that all would be forgiven when they had their next success. They had to know that talent would forget this episode the next time a fat check was written.

People. Meh. Now I wish that I could prove that I AM a robot.

VP81955 said...

There is the fact no studio has ever made a film naming a living dictator in a real country as some one to kill. That has got to be the smarmiest piece of Hollywood sleaze ever. The gall and balls of those execs who greenlights such a piece of crap is appalling.

That's the angle nearly nobody has dared to bring up -- all of this would be moot if Sony had told Rogen, "You make the villain fictional or we don't make your movie, period...and if you don't like it, tough." But the studio didn't have the courage to tick off a guy who makes money for them, and whose background of sophomoric, raunchy comedy made him precisely the wrong filmmaker to pursue such a delicate international project. Nah, they just saw $ signs in their eyes.

In short, we're now discussing the abortion of a movie prior to its release, when the smart thing to do would have been to use some cinematic birth control.

Diane D. said...

Regarding Sony's behavior, Johnny Walker said it all. It was a cowardly reaction and a terrible precedent to set.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

If people got hurt in a theater, then they would have died as martyrs for freedom, and the American way of life. Better yet if they were snacking on Freedom Fries at the time!

Anonymous said...

There is the fact no studio has ever made a film naming a living dictator in a real country as some one to kill. That has got to be the smarmiest piece of Hollywood sleaze ever. The gall and balls of those execs who greenlights such a piece of crap is appalling.

Since somebody else brought this up as a good point, I'd just like to point out that it's completely false. TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE named Kim Jong Un's father as an assassination target.

As for the subject being tasteless, I hate to summon Godwin's Law, but this is one situation where it really is appropriate. Think about what you're saying for a moment, and switch in a certain other famous dictator.

Kim Jong Un's government is evil. What little we know about the human rights abuses currently taking place in North Korea would churn your stomach. The stories that have come out have been beyond shocking, even to human rights organizations.

Ignoring the concentration camps, forced child prostitution, forced abortions, terror and torture, an estimated 2.5 million have been killed by the country's regime. Many of them families through deliberate mass starvation.

There is literally no government currently on earth with a worse human rights record.

Nobody in North Korea supports their "glorious leader", they are TERRIFIED of him. Public executions are the norm for even the tiniest infraction.

And yet people here are concerned about hurting the leader's feelings.

Kim Jong Un doesn't deserve to be assassinated in a movie, he deserves to be assassinated in REAL LIFE.

VP81955 said...

There is the fact no studio has ever made a film naming a living dictator in a real country as some one to kill. That has got to be the smarmiest piece of Hollywood sleaze ever. The gall and balls of those execs who greenlights such a piece of crap is appalling.

Since somebody else brought this up as a good point, I'd just like to point out that it's completely false. TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE named Kim Jong Un's father as an assassination target.

As for the subject being tasteless, I hate to summon Godwin's Law, but this is one situation where it really is appropriate. Think about what you're saying for a moment, and switch in a certain other famous dictator.

1. "Team America" used puppets, not real-life people, which made it inherently satiric.

2. No one here is defending Kim Jong-Un, his thousands of reprehensible actions, or is worried about "hurting his feelings."

3. Sorry, frat boys, but Seth Rogen simply doesn't possess the gravitas to wander onto this volatile, delicate turf. We're not dealing with Charlie Chaplin or Ernst Lubitsch, but a filmmaker best known for pothead, toilet humor -- one who's sophomoric, not sophisticated. There's no "freedom of speech" issue if Sony simply declined to make this project, which it had every right to.

Johnny Walker said...

@VP81955

Puppets or not, both films are just as make believe (and satiric). It's all fake you know.

The argument FOR Sony's actions seems to be nothing more than, "I didn't want to see this movie anyway".

Pat Reeder said...

To Johnny Walker: I'm not saying that anyone deserves to have their own private emails or photos hacked and leaked. I think that anyone who hacks into other people's private accounts, personal or business, should be put into a very cold, nasty prison for a long, long time with a big, horny cellmate named Bubba. I'm just saying that the same people who complained that nobody should look at their own hacked photos shouldn't be looking at OTHER PEOPLE'S hacked emails. That especially includes certain Internet gossip sites that scolded us for looking at the stolen photos, then delighted in publishing and critiquing the stolen emails.

Mike said...

VP, How about the studio that greenlit a movie about assassinating Pres Bush?

Or perhaps Harold and Kumar is too inferior so it's OK if that movie gets censored too?

Anonymous said...

As someone who has spent too much time in South Korea, and knows too much about malware, I'll toss in my 2 cents.

nK is a seriously strange place, and almost all of the things they have accused Kim Jung-un of in the movie also applied to his father and grand father. Even the bit about his bowel movements, or lack thereof. If they had made him a fictional dictator, no one would have believed it that people could be so brain-washed to believe it. The bit about the fake store is fairly accurate, as well as many of the other points Franco's character brings up. And a lot of this was in reaction to Dennis Rodman's visits to nK.

As for the Sony attack, most attacks now a days are from an employee clicking on the wrong attachment - the hackers then own that system, and since most systems are imaged from the same source, they own all of them, and very quickly. They start the exflitration of data, which often goes unnoticed, since most security is geared to looking for inflitration.

As for the nK attibution by the FBI, it turns out the Sony malware was based on the malware that attacked the South Korean Banking systems in 2013 - "DarkSeoul"... and that was attributed to nK as well.

And while nK is not really on the Internet (most of it's sites are based in China and Japan), they routinely send hacking teams from nK to China to stay in NK "Hacking Hotels", such as the Chilbosan hotel in Shenyang, China... this helps muddle the source attribution.

So it not just a question of adding firewalls, or intrusion detection systems, and educating your users. I'm pretty sure that Sony was doing it's due diligence especially after their previous hacks, since they are a publicly traded company.

Sony was not the first, won't the last, it was just the biggest to far, and it was done, not for money, like TJMaxx or Target, but for ideology.