Widespread reports, sourced to "senior Administration officials unwilling to speak on the record," say the US has fingered the North Korean government as responsible (or at least "centrally involved") in the Sony hack. Some observers (notably Graham Cluley and Wired) think evidence of DPRK involvement is thin. Most, however, find the story convincing. Policy wonks and international lawyers speculate about US Government action should the attribution hold up. Mount a cyber counteroffensive? Wage lawfare against the financial interests of Kim Jong-un's associates? Do nothing? (Some point out that doing nothing risks emboldening known cyber adversaries Russia, China, and Iran.)
Whatever the attack's provenance, it's had considerable effect. Sony has deep-sixed "The Interview," and Fox has cancelled plans for a North-Korea-themed thriller. Officials dismiss the credibility of terror-attack threats, but many observers think caving in on movie projects gave attackers what they wanted, setting a bad precedent.
Elsewhere, the Kims have competition as media critics: the Syrian Electronic Army hacked the International Business Times to protest "bias." More seriously and lethally, ISIS appears to be working in cyberspace to identify and locate unsympathetic citizen journalists.
In cyber criminal circles, OphionLocker ransomware can now identify individual machines, thereby avoiding unprofitable re-attacks. Akamai warns of "Xsser," a mobile RAT affecting Android and iOS devices. Banking Trojans active against South Korea are using Pinterest for command-and-control. Applications are becoming increasingly attractive targets.
Want to see the effects of the burgeoning IoT? Watch what happens December 25, when connected presents are unwrapped and powered up.