Cyber Hacking, Sony and Asymmetric Warfare

Written by David Michaelis

The recent cyber hacking that Sony experience might have come from North Korea. David Michaelis commentary on digital warfare.

aNewDomain — Cyber hacking on the scale that Sony recently experienced is the work of a professional, tech-savvy team. It’s not an innocent celebrity hacking, as it looks to Gawker readers interested in the next Seth Rogen film. In the Sony film “The Interview,” Rogen considers kidnapping the leader of North Korea. All jesting aside, North Korea may have been behind the serious hack.

North Korea and Sony

seth rogan sony hack

Image Credit: Digital Times via Creative Commons

It seems odd, given North Korea’s lack of Internet and technology. The 2 million mobile users in North Korea cannot connect to any content outside their country. The reality is that North Korea is developing a dangerous capability in asymmetric warfare.

“‘Asymmetric warfare’ struggles often involve strategies and tactics of unconventional warfare, the weaker combatants attempting to use strategy to offset deficiencies in quantity or quality,” according to Princeton.

This cyber capability could be more dangerous than a potential nuclear capability.

North Korea is utilizing its culture of non-existent public Internet connectivity to dire ends. It is a state hiding behind a walled cyber garden, and confronts the US, which is totally reliant on its information. You can attack and hide your identity today while the diplomats of the world are arguing about 20th century nuclear negotiations verbiage. The Western negotiators are fighting the last war, and are missing the next one, which will likely consist of cyber attacks. It is a situation of David and Goliath, in which North Korea is blinding Goliath by targeted cyber hacking.

Sony cyber attacks

Image Credit: Sony

Profile of the Sony Attack

Business Insider wrote:

“It is reportedly the first to use ‘a highly destructive class of malicious software that is designed to make computer networks unable to operate’ into a company’s computer system in the United States, according to Reuters. North Korea has emerged as a leading suspect in the hack. Pyongyang had already vowed ‘merciless’ retaliation over ‘The Interview,’ a Sony release in which James Franco and Seth Rogan play talk show hosts that the CIA enlists for an assassination plot against North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

Meanwhile Seoul, the city of the future, and South Korea are continually at a stand-off with North Korea. South Korea is entirely dependent on cyber society, while North Korea is not at all. North Korea may not need nuclear weapons to bring their southern rivals to a standstill — maybe just excellent hackers.

Hewlett-Packard Security report said:

Cyber warfare allows North Korea to leverage the Internet’s inherent flaws for offensive purposes while maintaining its defenses, primarily via air-gapping its most critical networks from the outside world.”

Asymmetrical warfare has its own cyber rules. We better learn them, and quickly. We are all in an intelligence dark hole about North Korean capabilities, and if it can disrupt our technology, it can disrupt pretty much everything. Seth Rogen and Sony will not save the day here. As we learned from Anonymous and criminal hackers, black hat jobs are efficiently subversive weapons.

This is the film North Korea does not want you to see!

Video: The Interview – Official Teaser Trailer – In Theaters This Christmas

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