The evidence THAT WE’VE SEEN is very circumstantial. And this certainly doesn’t look or smell like a nation-state sponsored attack. It very strongly looks and smells like an independent group. Wired’s editorial does a good job of pointing out the biggest factors:
- The hackers left a message behind on the compromised servers, demanding money and threatening further hacks. It is signed “GodsApstls”, which is not the name of the group which has claimed public credit for the attack. It does not mention N Korea or The Interview. For the curious: “[M]onetary compensation we want… Pay the damage, or Sony Pictures will be bombarded as a whole. You know us very well. We never wait long. You’d better behave wisely.”
- The group which has taken public credit for the attack (Guardians of Peace) described themselves as “an international organization … not under direction of any state.”
- Guardians of Peace never mentioned north korea or The Interview until a week AFTER the NY Times published its’ piece which started this whole idea. Here’s the relevant quote: “Our aim is not at the film The Interview as Sony Pictures suggests. But it is widely reported as if our activity is related to The Interview. This shows how dangerous film The Interview is. The Interview is very dangerous enough to cause a massive hack attack. Sony Pictures produced the film harming the regional peace and security and violating human rights for money. The news with The Interview fully acquaints us with the crimes of Sony Pictures. Like this, their activity is contrary to our philosophy. We struggle to fight against such greed of Sony Pictures.”
The evidence we’ve seen citing North Korea as the instigator is very weak indeed. Sony has indicated that THEY don’t think it’s North Korea. So either the FBI has some information that no one else has (which is plausible), or there’s something else going on. Either way this proclamation should not be taken at face value.