It was Russians who were behind the massive Sony hack last year … and they still have access to the company’s computers, it has been reported.
According to a new report (read the PDF here) by online security firm Taia Global, it was Russian hackers who did the deed:
A team of Russian hackers gained access to Sony Pictures Entertainment Culver City network in late 2014 by sending spear phishing emails to Sony employees in Russia, India and other parts of Asia. Those emails contained an attached .pdf document that was loaded with a Remote Access Trojan (RAT). Once Sony employees’ computers were infected, the hackers used advanced pivoting techniques to gain access to the Sony Pictures Entertainment network in Culver City CA where they continue to have access as of today.
However, the firm does not completely exonerate North Korea:
The evidence contained in this report suggests two possibilities:
One – that Russian hackers and North Korean hackers ran separate attacks simultaneously against Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Two – that the North Korean government’s denial of involvement in the Sony breach is accurate; meaning that they had nothing to do with the Sony attack, that other hackers did, and at least one or more of those that did were Russian.
Taia says its source is a veteran Russian hacker called Yama Tough, whose over 10-years-and-counting hacking career has earned him the respect of Ukraine and Russia, whose governments have used his services before. This Yama Tough says he can confirm that one ‘Unnamed Russian Hacker’ (URH) participated in the hack and is still in Sony’s system:
As a way of introduction and to establish his bona fides as a member of the team who hacked Sony, URH provided Yama Tough with two Excel spreadsheets that were not included in any of the earlier Sony data dumps. One week later, URH provided 100MB of Sony data to Yama Tough who in turn provided a sampling of six files to Taia Global. After that came several Sony emails with dates as late as January 14 and January 23, 2015. It became apparent that URH had ongoing access to Sony’s network despite the numerous companies and agencies involved in investigating the breach.
According to Forbes, Taia chief Jefferey Carr says he’s’100% sure’ Yama Tough is telling the truth.
As ENTmania! reported, the FBI placed the blame for the hack squarely on North Korea, who at that time were rejoicing that the hackers’ ‘righteous deed’ succeeded in preventing Sony from releasing the controversial movie The Interview. North Korean angrily denied any involvement, and shortly after the hackers released a mocking video calling the FBI ‘idiots.’