January 4, 2015


U.S. Spies Say They Tracked 'Sony Hackers' For Years (Shane Harris, 1/02/15, Daily Beast)

The FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies for years have been tracking the hackers who they believe to be behind the cyber attack on Sony, according to current and former American officials. And during that long pursuit, U.S. agencies accumulated still-classified information that helps tie the hackers to the recent Sony intrusion.

The Obama administration announced a round of sanctions against North Korea Friday, and explicitly said the measures were in retaliation for the "destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment."

But investigators pinned the Sony attack on North Korea in early December, not long after the FBI began investigating the breach and almost three weeks before President Obama publicly pointed the finger at the Hermit Kingdom in a December 19 news conference, according to two individuals with knowledge of the case. The Obama administration waited to go public not because officials weren't confident in the intelligence, but because the White House was weighing the significant policy decision of whether to publicly tie a nation-state to a specific cyber attack on U.S. soil for the first time.

Posted by at January 4, 2015 9:57 AM

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