Security roundup: North Korea behind Sony hacks?

Plus, Brits beat Americans in online password security
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This week we round up the latest news from the Sony hacks, and how North Korea may allegedly be behind the cyber attacks.

Last month Sony’s computer system was targeted - employees’ screens displayed a message threatening to expose ‘secrets’ from data obtained by the hack.

Details that were stolen include a movie script for the next James Bond movie Spectre, while the film Annie was available on illegal file-sharing sites.

Sony Pictures has also cancelled its movie The Interview, which focuses on a fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Confidential emails were also exposed, detailing information about bosses’ salaries and employees' social security information.

Now, North Korea has been accused after the country denied any involvement in the hack.

A group called Guardians of Peace was originally allegedly behind the attack. However, US officials are now pointing the finger at North Korea, The New York Times reports.

The New York Times said that the country was “centrally involved” in the attack; the US is expected to make an official statement tomorrow regarding the news.

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO at Kaspersky Lab, added: "The Sony hack is probably the first one that’s been so globally high-profile. The most worrying aspect for me is that this hacker group is threatening to stage terror attacks. I don’t know if there really is a link between this group and terrorists, but the threat does show that politically-motivated hackers may be embracing terrorists’ methods. A merger between groups of hacktivists and traditional terrorist organisation has been a fear of mine for years.

“Of course, such an attack on the entertainment industry is very damaging and costly, but it’s probably not as dangerous as an attack on critical infrastructure. In any case it’s a very strong signal that even the most advanced hi-tech companies are not immune to hacker attacks, and we have to prepare ourselves for very serious and painful attacks in the future. Sadly, it’s not easy to say which industry or company will be the next target.”

In other security news this week, research shows that Brits have much stronger passwords compared to their US cousins.

Dashlane, a password security specialist, analysed the average password security score of over 50,000 of its most active users from the last year.

Data revealed that the UK’s average score was 60.37 - some 20 per cent higher than the US.

However, Germany beat the British for online security with an average score of 67.51.

Guillaume Desnoës, head of European markets at Dashlane, said: “It’s very important not to underestimate the risks encountered when storing personal data online.

“Unfortunately, we’ve found that Britons are less protected on sites for personal use than they are when using professional software, leaving their private lives and personal information open to the threat of hackers.”

The research also showed that younger Dashlane users employ stronger passwords than their elders.

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