12.23.14

On the Voice of America: Tried to keep it reality-based

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 1:42 pm by George Smith

Catching up with the Voice of America, which broadcast this hours before Sony withdrew The Interview from wide release on Xmas day. (Today, it reversed itself and is trying to coax it into a 200-300 theater special showing on the 25th, about ten percent of what was originally slated.)

From the Voice of America:

Cyber attacks similar to the recent major breach of Sony Pictures’ computer networks, with which North Korea was allegedly involved, may be expected in future, computer security experts say.

Sony’s comedy “The Interview” makes fun of a fictional CIA plot to assassinate North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, using two bumbling American reporters who were granted a rare interview with the reclusive dictator.

North Korean officials complained about the film to the United Nations in July, but the hacking didn’t start until late November. Films were stolen and released, and private company emails were made public. The hack has cost Sony millions and forced the entertainment giant to cancel release of the film.

But what could be more damaging, said George Smith, senior fellow for Globalsecurity.org, are the vulnerabilities in the Internet itself.

“How many stories have we had in the last couple of weeks on things of this nature? The Sony one has dominated the news, but a month prior to that there was the news of the banks [JPMorgan Chase and other institutions], and earlier in the week there was a story how the Sands Casino network … was heavily compromised, allegedly by hackers sympathetic to Iran,” he said.

Smith said it is very difficult to secure a global business like Sony. He said networks are now so complex, even the people responsible for their security aren’t quite sure how to move forward.

“It’s going to continue the way it has,” he said. “There’s no visible trend on the horizon that sees this improving, OK? But people become used to it.” Also, the original, at VoA.

Me, I’m waiting to see how thrilled the Chinese are over Universal’s American hacker movie that has one of its nuclear reactors blown up by remote control.

Hilarious. Another obvious winner.


Film critic Peter Rainer’s take on The Interview:

What was Sony thinking? In the history of corporate bonehead decisions, the financing and distributing of a slobbola comedy about the assassination of a sitting world leader has to rank right up there with the New Coke …

I remember seeing a movie at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival called “The Death of a President,” a British faux documentary about the assassination of then-President George W. Bush and the ascension of Dick Cheney, whose rise was viewed almost as alarmingly as the assassination. As with “The Interview,” many of the major US theater chains refused to show the film, and it rapidly vanished.

The opposite is true for “The Interview,” which has moved to the nation’s front pages without ever having been released at all. My guess is that Sony greenlighted this movie simply because they thought it would clean up with the gross-out crowd and, besides, Kim Jong-un, with his funny haircut, was a safe target.

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