The recent cyber-attack on Sony Pictures has created a political and commercial upheaval that may lead businesses and organizations to think twice about whether their current security systems are sufficient to withstand sophisticated breach attempts.
The FBI has formally accused the North Korean government of perpetrating the hack that revealed extensive employee information as well as insensitive emails. The hack was apparently a response to the Sony film "The Interview" that depicted a comedic assassination attempt of real-life leader Kim Jong Un.
"The FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible," said bureau in a public statement. "Though the FBI has seen a wide variety and increasing number of cyber intrusions, the destructive nature of this attack, coupled with its coercive nature, sets it apart."
As a consequence of the breach and the following threats against American lives, Sony has canceled the release of the film and is currently working to reorganize and regroup, while the FBI and United States government is determining what a "proportional response" might be in this scenario.
This data breach is unusual because it involves not only personal data but also the entirety of inter-company communications.
"This is going to take years to unwrap," said security expert Bruce Schneier to The Wall Street Journal. "Now every company is thinking, 'What would it be like if everything in our company was made public?'"
Security experts are hoping that this attack will motivate other businesses and organizations to take a closer look at their security systems. Retailers have been especially hard hit in the past by the effects of breaches, and should take extra care to protect their customers with sophisticated card processing software.