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FBI knew of a possible 'Sony-like' hack a year ago, but decided not to tell Sony

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The past month has been raining with information of how Sony Pictures huge hack, by perpetrators called Guardians of Peace, has destroyed the company’s creative information catalogue. Now, the latest development comes from The Intercept, who has got hold of an FBI report written a year ago that reveals that the organization knew of a possible malware attack of this stature beforehand. But the law enforcement agency chose not to divulge this information to Sony.

The report was disseminated only to those who FBI thought as ‘appropriate’, and the report is marked as ‘Unclassified//For Official use Only’. Sony Pictures, a company which the US government feels is part of the country’s ‘critical infrastructure’ was kept blinded from this information.

The hack has resulted into 1,100GB worth of data being now at the disposal of these hackers, who have released key info bit by bit, causing rifts and loss of huge revenue. This information includes emails, passwords, salary information and important unreleased scripts. FBI, last week, formally announced that the hack was North Korea’s doing. However, North Korea keeps its stance of not being privy to this crime.

The FBI’s 2013 report includes pages of check-lists and step-by step guidance for US companies on how to prepare for, mitigate and recover from the same exact type of hack that hit Sony Pictures. This raises questions as to why the FBI chose not to send this report to the company, as these sort of mentioned ‘best practices’ were critical for companies trying to fend off cases like the Sony attack. Had the company got the memo in time, the possibility of this huge meltdown would not have risen.

An FBI spokesperson confirmed that Sony was not on the distribution list. The FBI did not provide it directly to them. It was provided to several of our outreach components for dissemination as appropriate. FBI spokesman Paul Bresson told the publication.

Meanwhile, the movie The Interview, that is believed to be the cause of the hack, has been released by Sony on YouTube, Google Play Store and Xbox Video. Within a day of release, the movie hit torrent websites and has since been downloaded over 750,000 times.

You can read the full FBI report here.

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  • Published Date: December 26, 2014 11:10 AM IST