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FBI: Sony hack so sophisticated it can penetrate 90% of net defenses, challenge government sites

Published Dec 12th, 2014 6:50AM EST
FBI on Sony Pictures Hack
Image: ABCHS

The Sony Pictures hack saga is far from over, as more and more details come to light about the massive data breach the company suffered a few weeks ago. Unknown hackers identifying themselves online as Guardians of Peace (GOP) managed to steal some 100 terabytes of data containing very sensitive information, including digital versions of unreleased Sony movies, and personal details about employees, celebrities, and current and future business plans.

FROM EARLIER: Sony counterhacks its stolen digital goods to prevent illegal downloads

According to Ars Technica FBI’s assistant director of the cyber division Joseph Demarest said on Wednesday in a testimony to Congress the attack targeting Sony was extremely sophisticated and could have penetrated most of the existing defenses that guard various websites, and even challenged sites belonging to the government.

“The level of sophistication is extremely high and we can tell…that [the hackers] are organized and certainly persistent,” the FBI official said. “In speaking with Sony and separately, the Mandiant security provider, the malware that was used would have slipped or probably gotten past 90% of Net defenses that are out there today in private industry and [likely] challenged even state government.”

As the publication notes, the FBI, Mandiant or Sony are yet to explain what makes this hack “unprecedented.”

It’s also unclear who was behind the hack. North Korea has been the main suspect so far, but the country denied involvement more than once, though it did praise the GOP group for its actions against Sony.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.