That North Korea was responsible for the Sony hack is the most improbable bit of US propaganda of 2014. There is ample forensic evidence that the hack was an inside job, while the evidence that it was North Korea is … secret. Not one of my myriad contacts who are present or retired security service officers believe it. But geek stuff aside, there are many adjectives that apply to the North Korean regime, most of them unpleasant. Sophisticated is not one of them.
A hack that didn’t destroy anything but released online a horde of exceedingly dull and mostly trivial commercial documents is scarcely the style of the totalitarian North Korean state. The media struggle to big up the non-story has put a cost of US$100 million to Sony on the hack – but that is largely the cost of improving its IT systems, not damage from the event itself.
The US response to sanction North Korea and temporarily to shut down its internet has been daft. Isolation is the problem in North Korea, not the solution. One thing we can be 100% sure of is that, even were North Korea behind the hack (which is extremely improbable), it was not physically initiated within North Korea.
This extraordinary non-story succeeded in knocking the Feinstein Report into CIA torture off the top of the World news agenda. It will also be repeatedly cited as justification for NSA snooping and moves to state censorship of the internet. The willingness of the entire mainstream media to run with this obviously false story has been alarming. I think we all knew by now you can’t unquestioningly believe anything on the BBC, but really…