The hack of Sony Pictures, blamed on North Korea by the FBI, was not an act of war, President Obama said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
?I don?t think it was an act of war,? he told CNN?s ?State of the Union with Candy Crowley? in an interview that was recorded on Friday. ?I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive. We take it very seriously. We will respond proportionately, as I said.?
Obama?s remarks are important for framing what might come next.
One of the possibilities, he said, was a return of North Korea to the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list, which automatically imposes certain sanctions on the country and restrictions on interaction with U.S. organizations.
Google?s software engineers are looking at bringing a little bit of Android to the Chromebook. François Beaufort, who works on Google?s Chromium open-source browser, announced on Friday that new developer builds of the Chromebook?s software let you ask it whatever you want using the ?OK Google? voice commands.
According to Beaufort, the Chromebook?s support for ?OK Google? queries is only included in Dev Channel builds and it?s ?experimental? for now.
It?s also pretty well hidden. Beaufort describes:
?Try out the experimental new version of the ?Ok Google? experience by toggling the chrome://flags/#enable-hotword-hardware flag. Restart your device, go to Chrome OS Settings and check ?Enable ?Ok Google? to start a voice search? to train your device to respond to the sound of your voice by saying three times ?Ok Google?.?
Sony Pictures says it hasn?t bowed to threats to pull ?The Interview? and audiences will get a chance to see it?it?s just not sure how at present.
In the face of threats from hackers, Sony said last week said it was canceling theatrical release of the satirical movie about a plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled for December 25, and ?has no further plans? to release on DVD or video-on-demand platforms.
On Friday, President Obama publically called that decision a mistake and now both parties appear to be back-pedaling a little.
?Remember, Sony only delayed this,? David Boies, the company?s lead attorney, said in an interview on NBC?s ?Meet The Press.? ?Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. It will be distributed. How it?s going to be distributed, I don?t think anybody knows quite yet. But it?s going to be distributed.?
The U.S. has rejected North Korea?s proposal for a joint investigation of a devastating hack on Sony Pictures, and has reached out to China for help blocking future cyberattacks.
North Korea Saturday denied U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation allegations that it was responsible for the Sony hack, and proposed a joint investigation into the incident with the U.S. The U.S., however, is standing firm in its allegations.
?The government of North Korea has a long history of denying responsibility for destructive and provocative actions,? according to a statement from White House National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh. ?If the North Korean government wants to help, they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused,? according to the statement, cited in published reports Saturday.
It seems like something out of an old episode of Mission Impossible or Inspector Gadget?an ultra-secure phone that self destructs. But such a phone might be close to reality, courtesy of Boeing and BlackBerry.
According to Reuters (via Recode), Boeing and BlackBerry are currently jointly developing a super-secure smartphone geared toward governments and other groups or individuals who require high security standards. And if someone goes and tampers with the device, it'll render itself inoperable.
We're not talking about something that burns itself or explodes or anything like that, though; instead, Slashgear says that "all data will be erased" from the phone "if the tamper-proof casing is taken apart." So it's not as dramatic as, say, something from spy movies, but it certainly sounds effective.
Denying responsibility for a major hack on Sony Pictures, North Korea has proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. but promised ?serious consequences? should its offer be rejected.
On Friday, the FBI said it had concluded North Korean responsibility because of several similarities in the malware code, the computer control network used and the software tools used against Sony and that used in previous attacks in South Korea that had been blamed on North Korea.
North Korea?s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, said in a statement Saturday that it needed to see ?clear evidence? and said comparisons with previous cyberattacks were irrelevant to the Sony case.
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From the reactions to Sony pulling The Interview to the end of the beloved Serial, a lot happened on the Internet last week. Catch up here.
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