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The Sony Hack in a Nutshell

It is widely known by now that Sony suffered one of the worst computer hacks in history late last year. The hack is rumored to have been performed by North Korea, in response to Sony’s upcoming film “The Interview” which depicts North Korean leader Kim Jong Un being assassinated. A group called “Guardians of Peace” has indicated responsibility, but many analysts suspect a larger organization was ultimately behind the event. So, officially the perpetrator of the hack remains unknown.

The hack is especially noteworthy because of its sheer scope. It absolutely wrecked all of Sony’s computers, stealing the files and then wiping the data. Many of the computers still don’t work.

Interestingly, the thing that saved the day for Sony was Blackberry phones. An employee happened to find a number of Blackberry PDAs in a desk drawer, and was able to use them to set up a basic communication network. Unlike another smartphones (and even many computers), Blackberry has an extremely efficient security system, which is why it’s still used heavily by U.S. government agencies and contractors. Moreover, Blackberry phones are too rare for most hackers to bother targeting in the first place.

The aftermath of the hack will certainly not be a walk in the park for Sony. The company will surely need to purchase many millions of dollars’ worth of new equipment, and endure an extremely long period of public scrutiny and humiliation as its private files are continuously leaked to and examined by the media. The company may not recover fully for many years.

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