Inside job: Lizard Squad and ex-Sony employees likely aided North Korea’s hack attack

lizard squad and ex sony employees likely involved in hack hacker shutterstock
Shutterstock
Unless you’ve been living under a (terribly remote) rock for the past month or so, you know the story by now. Seth Rogen and James Franco’s latest comedic production, about a far-fetched Kim Jong-Un assassination plot, infuriated the North Korean dictator, who ordered a cyber-hit on Sony Pictures.

The entertainment giant suffered great losses on the heels of its servers’ breakdown, as heaps of sensitive, confidential and outright embarrassing information made its illicit way online. The full impact of the hack attack on Sony’s reputation and financial status remains hard to measure, but at least the authorities are onto the perpetrators.

And the co-conspirator hints are beginning to pile up. Reports now claim the self-titled “Guardians of Peace” may have been aided and abetted by a separate notorious cybercrime ring, Lizard Squad, and disgruntled former Sony employees.

Ruining Christmas for gamers worldwide wasn’t the recently unmasked members of Lizard Squad kept busy. While they didn’t play a “large part” in Sony’s hack, they “handed over some Sony employee logins” to the brains behind the intrusion.

That’s according to an alleged administrator of the group, who was surprisingly candid and forward in a Washington Post interview. Almost too forward. Before you even think it, yes, the prestigious publication verified this “Ryan Cleary’s” affiliation with the Lizard Squad and. That doesn’t guarantee his claims are correct, however.

Cleary touched on a number of topics including the Christmas DDoS raids on Sony and Microsoft and Lizard Squad’s beef with the Tor network, which the hackers hoped to prove isn’t as safe and anonymous as people think.

He poked fun at Microsoft, which apparently put up no resistance to recent attacks, despite numerous preceding warnings. And last but not least, he confirmed his crew of cyber-criminals supplied the Guardians of Peace with “a couple” of Sony employee login credentials “for the initial hack.”

Researchers from the security firm Norse Corporation, meanwhile, have found “indicators” suggesting unhappy former Sony workers may have collaborated with mysterious pro-piracy hacktivists, which diverted the attention from them by throwing the blame on North Korea.

It appears, then, that there’s plenty of blame (and credit) to go around. Keep in mind, however, that so far the FBI has no wavered from its

Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Gaming

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild bug lets Link ignore temperature effects

A newly discovered bug in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild allows players to max out both hearts and stamina. The glitch also disables temperature effects such as the heat of Death Mountain and the cold of Hebra.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Computing

Don’t be fooled! Study exposes most popular phishing email subject lines

Phishing emails are on the rise and a new study out by the cybersecurity company Barracuda has exposed some of the most common phishing email subject lines used to exploit businesses. 
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Deals

Time to do taxes? Save up to 50 percent on H&R Block tax software this weekend

Tax season is stressful, and with new tax laws in effect this year, it's not a bad idea to get some help. H&R Block has you covered: For two days only, you can save 50 percent on its great software so you can file your taxes online and save…
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Computing

The new iMacs push on iMac Pro territory, but how much power do you really need?

With Apple refreshing the higher-end iMacs with newer processors and graphics cards, it moves closer to the iMac Pro. In this guide, we consider the performance, features, and help make sense of the differences between the two.
Computing

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

Which mid-range Nvidia Turing graphics card should you buy?

Nvidia's top mid-range cards are all solid performers, but which offers the best bang for buck? To find out where you should spend your money on your next big upgrade, we pitted the GTX 1660 vs. GTX 1660 Ti vs. RTX 2060.