The war of words between the United States and North Korea is escalating. Following the Sony breach that took place in late November (all because of a comedy film called The Interview), the FBI and the Obama Administration pointed fingers at North Korea for orchestrating the attack. North Korea has claimed innocence throughout the aftermath, but indicated in early December that it condoned the “righteous deed.”
The Obama administration stated that it would “respond proportionately” to the hack, and not long after, North Korea was the on the receiving end of an “unprecedented” Internet takedown which sent the country even further into the stone ages — if only for a few hours.
The U.S. didn't claim responsibility for North Korea's Internet woes, but North Korea definitely was fighting mad about the attack
Since that time, tensions have escalated between the two countries. Even though the U.S. didn’t claim responsibility for the North Korean Internet takedown, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) – the official name for North Korea -- definitely didn’t see things that way. “The U.S., a big country, started disturbing the Internet operation of major media of the DPRK, not knowing shame like children playing a tag,” said a spokesman for North Korea’s National Defense Commission in late December.
The spokesman went on to add, "Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.”
The U.S. stepped up its retaliation against North Korea last week when President Obama imposed economic sanctions against the country. "Today’s actions are driven by our commitment to hold North Korea accountable for its destructive and destabilizing conduct," said Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew on Friday.
And like clockwork, North Korea is once again hurling insults at the U.S. in response to the latest round of sanctions. “The policy persistently pursued by the U.S. to stifle the DPRK, groundlessly stirring up bad blood towards it, will only harden its will and resolution to defend the sovereignty of the country,” said a spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry.
The spokesman went on to state that the sanctions prove America’s "inveterate repugnancy and hostility toward the DPRK.”
The sanctions were imposed against 10 North Korean government officials and three North Korean organizations. The latest round of sanctions are largely seen as symbolic as North Korea is already facing tough economic sanctions from both the U.S. and the international community for its insistence on pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
But despite that the fact that U.S. officials seem certain that the North Korea orchestrated the attacks that crippled Sony, some researchers aren’t so certain that the country could pull off such an operation.
“When the FBI made the announcement so soon after the initial hack was unveiled, everyone in the [cyber] intelligence community kind of raised their eyebrows at it, because it’s really hard to pin this on anyone within days of the attack,” said Kurt Stammberger, Senior Vice President at Norse.
It would be an interesting turn of events if North Korea was indeed innocent, but for not, the U.S. seems quite certain that it’s found its perp.