Hacks (Both Types) 37

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…

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37 thoughts on “Hacks (Both Types)

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  • Kempe

    ” The massive ‘big bubble’ collapse of the economic system in 2015 as ‘Dr Doom’ predicts (Schiff called the 2008 collape), ”

    Unfortunately he’s been wrong about every thing else; unless you know anyone prepared to pay $5,000 an ounce for grannie’s old wedding ring.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Here’s the simplistic view of both what Schiff says and his detractors think:


    That would put paid to Schiff, except – look at the last section –

    How could you test those rival views? Why, how about having a huge slump, to which central banks respond with aggressive monetary expansion? And that is, of course, the test we’ve just run. And everywhere you look, inflation is low, verging on deflation.

    So we’ve just run the Schiff test — and his brand of economics, by his own criteria, loses with flying colors. And that goes for just about all anti-Keynesian doctrines: we ran as close to a clean experiment as you’re ever going to get, and the answer is no.

    Now, just about everyone on that side insists that it’s not true, that sinister bureaucrats are smuggling away the inflation evidence and burying it in Area 51. That tells you a lot about who we’re dealing with. But at least Schiff states the issue clearly before refusing to admit error.

    Here, if that is the actual Schiff position, Schiff is wrong. What the policymakers are actually doing is burying the inflation in plain sight. In the housing market.

    And Schiff’s basic premiss is certainly defensible. If you create money unmatched to tangible value, you are of course creating inflation. Either that, or you are devaluing the currency. Or both.

    I wouldn’t dismiss him just like that.

  • Clark

    The Anonymous hactivist collective’s statement to Sony in 2011:

    Your corrupt business practices are indicative of a corporate philosophy that would deny consumers the right to use products they have paid for and rightfully own, in the manner of their choosing. Perhaps you should alert your customers to the fact that they are apparently only renting your products? In light of this assault on both rights and free expression, Anonymous, the notoriously handsome rulers of the internet, would like to inform you that you have only been ‘renting’ your web domains. Having trodden upon Anonymous’ rights, you must now be trodden on.


    Macky, I wrote “Mary’s quote” as opposed to “quoting Mary”. But for your benefit I’ll be more explicit in future.

  • Jemand

    Herbie – “I think if someone is wearing a Star of David so prominently on a pullover like that, they’re making a statement about their support for Israel.”

    Maybe. Although the flag of Israel took the Star of David, a pre-existing symbol of Judaism, for its national motif. So he may or may not be a supporter of Israel. But even if he were, there are plenty of supporters so it is hardly a remarkable statement in the US, especially in Hollywood.

    So, is that so “telling”? That someone supports Israel? No, it was Mary pointing out the Jew and slyly implying, as she always does, that there is a sinister agenda behind it.

  • YouKnowMyName

    Not forgetting the academic research which compared the various statements issued in English by the Sony Pictures attackers, philologically analysed the words & sentence structure using machine automation, comparing to MANDARIN + KOREAN + RUSSIAN + GERMAN.

    The study concluded that the slightly bad English was a word for word translation from good Russian!
    Putin also visited N.K. during the finger-pointing, but of course this proves nothing in information warfare terms.

    Great news for Russian speakers living in Europe, Latvia (as rotating EU agenda chair for this semester) might introduce an Satellite/Internet entertainment channel based in the EU, in purely Russian language, as it seems the existing European message sources of 2014 weren’t believed by anyone. This new, highly accurate news content channel, would allow the correct emphasis to be made, I’m sure.

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