House Intelligence Chairman ‘Fairly Confident’ North Korea Behind Recent Sony Hack; Game-Changer For U.S.; What Does Future Hold For The Internet

House Intelligence Chairman ‘Fairly Confident’ North Korea Behind Recent Sony Hack; Game-Changer For U.S.; What Does Future Hold For The Internet

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Corey Bennett, writing in the December 12, 2014 edition of TheHill.com, quotes outgoing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R.-Mich), as saying “the evidence in the Sony Pictures hacking case is clear; a nation-state was behind it; and, it was likely North Korea. I would argue as a former FBI guy, that when a nation-state says this group who doesn’t know who we are — but, did this on behalf of the North Korean people…and we appreciate it,” Rogers said before pausing. “As we would say in the FBI, that is a clue,” he said speaking at a Friday breakfast with The Christian Science Monitor.

Rogers added that he “is fairly confident that North Korea is responsible, given the public information,” but declined to elaborate further, Ms. Bennett wrote. A Bloomberg Business report issued on Thursday, reported that the cyber security firm FireEye, — whom Sony hired to investigate the hack — “had prepared a blog post linking the attack to an ongoing North Korean cyber campaign. But, writes Ms. Bennett, “Sony’s General Counsel put the kibosh on the post….perhaps fearing further retribution.”

Rogers echoed other reporting that “the Sony hack resembled the [North Korean cyber] campaign, DarkSeoul, which hit banks and media companies across South Korea last year, but added new techniques.” “For instance,” Congressman Rogers said, “he thinks hackers maintained a backdoor into the computer network. Sony is a game-changer — when it comes to cyber [threats, attacks] in the U.S.,” he added.

What Does The Future Hold For The Internet Into 2015/2016

Kathleen Cooper, writing in the December 12, 2014 The News Tribune, in Tacoma, Washington — says a local cyber security/Internet company has a pessimistic outlook for the Internet in 2015-2016. “The Internet as we know it — free, open, and assessable — might be on its deathbed. The result will be more crime, that’s less detectible; and possibly, even more spam in your inbox,” according to the Tacoma, Washington-based cyber security company — IID.

“It saddens us to make this prediction, but the perceived threat of cyber crime, cyber espionage, and cyber terrorism, will become so great — as to necessitate a significant closing off of the Internet for most Internet users,” IID President and Chief Technology Officer, Rod Rasmussen, said in a news release. By the end of 2016, IID predicts encryption will be used on a wide-scale, by people who want to protect their privacy from government intrusion. “People’s desire for encryption is caused by recent reports of national governments and intelligence agencies around the world…conducting intensive electronic surveillance of pedestrian civil, Internet activities,” he said.

“The widespread government surveillance will in turn, make it harder to identify and intercept communications from terrorists who are organizing attacks online.” the company predicts. “Moreover, cyber criminals hatching various online attacks; and, pedophiles trading online child abuse materials — will have free reign to operate without fear of detection; while anti-spamming services will fail to catch massive amounts of spam before it lands in in boxes,” IID predicts.

“How will governments react?” Ms. Cooper asks. “More spying.”

“Agencies will likely hack (Internet Service Providers), citizens, and the cloud itself — to get better visibility as to when certain encrypted data is at rest; and, when it is actively being viewed by suspected bad actors,” IID postulates. “Governments will also look to laws and regulations that limit the use of encryption, or require mandatory access to keys that will unlock the encryption.”

“Meanwhile,” IID predicts, “countries will be blocking Internet activity from other countries suspected of harboring online espionage and other criminal activity. The Balkanization of the Internet,” as IID calls it, “”will stem from countries deciding that protecting national assets trumps the “free and open” principals the Internet was founded on.”

“Russia, Germany, and Brazil, already have investigated whether to require its citizens’ data be stored on servers only within the country’s borders. China’s Internet is already mostly closed. China routinely monitors and censors on a massive scale,” IID said. “So, the tools, infrastructure, and systems needed to wall off the Internet already exist,” IID contends

We’ll see. I am not as pessimistic; but, it could certainly go this way. V/R, RCP

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