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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 6-Dec-2014
6-Dec-14 World View -- Sony suffers catastrophic breach, possibly from North Korean hackers

Web Log - December, 2014

6-Dec-14 World View -- Sony suffers catastrophic breach, possibly from North Korean hackers

Mahmoud Abbas blames Gaza war on lies by Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood

This morning's key headlines from

Sony suffers catastrophic breach, possibly from North Korean hackers

Publicity poster for Sony's movie 'The Interview'
Publicity poster for Sony's movie 'The Interview'

You may have read some news reports that hackers broke into Sony Pictures's computer network, downloaded some movies and made them available for free online. According to the reports, North Korean may have perpetrated the hacks in retaliation for the pending release of a move, "The Interview," which is a comedy that mocks North Korea's easily mockable president Kim Jong-un. North Korea has previously reacted to news about the film by threatening war.

It turns out that the hacker breach was far more serious than the release of a couple of movies, and is so widespread and destructive that Sony may not survive. The hackers downloaded a dozen terabytes of data, including substantial corporate data and intellectual property. The data included employee salaries, performance reviews, criminal background checks, passwords, RSA tokens, global network maps, email accounts, and 47,000 Social Security numbers. The hackers are releasing much of that data online. The data includes everything that a hacker would need to compromise Sony all over again, in the manner of their choosing.

As bad as that is, it goes far beyond even that to wholesale large-scale system destruction. The hackers released malware designed to completely erase all data files throughout Sony's entire network, including servers and PCs.

The attack was so vicious and so personal that it may well have been a North Korean attack. However, the hackers had customized the malware with specific knowledge of Sony's internal networks, indicating that the hackers may have had help from an insider, someone like the American traitor Snowden.

Other corporations are looking on the Sony situation with horror, because they know that they could be next. They're appalled at the seeming ease with which the hackers entered the system, the sheer volume of data that was released, and the amount of destruction that was wrought. Any corporation that hasn't been worried about cybersecurity in the past should start worrying now. Dark Reading and Bloomberg and BBC

Mahmoud Abbas blames Gaza war on lies by Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas on November 30 gave a lengthy interview on his strategy for dealing with Israel, Egypt and Hamas. He repeated many things we've described before -- plans to gain worldwide recognition for the State of Palestine, plans to bring war crime charges against Israel, opposition to the plan to declare Israel a "Jewish state," as that would degrade positions of the Arab Israelis.

Abbas also laid out how the Gaza war began. As we've written in the past, three Israeli teenagers were abducted on June 10, and their dead bodies were found on June 30. This triggered a spiral of violence that led to the Gaza war, and further violence in Jerusalem since then. Israel accused Hamas of the murders of the teens, and Hamas denied it. Abbas says that it was this lie by Hamas that led to the war:

"We agreed [with Hamas] that we would establish the [unity government between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah], but that it would not include a single member of the Hamas movement. This government was sworn in on June 2,.[2014], and exactly ten days later, on June 12, they kidnapped the three settlers [near] Hebron. I tried to avoid creating a crisis. I spoke with [Hamas political bureau head] Khaled Mash'al and asked him whether Hamas had anything to do with the kidnapping of the settlers, and he said: We have nothing to do with it. I wanted him to confirm it again, and he swore by Allah that they had nothing to do with it. I told him: I believe you. That was in Doha.

Then the war in Gaza broke out, and I visited Qatar and Turkey to consult [with them] about the Egyptian initiative. I had a meeting with the Emir of Qatar, and I asked him [to hold a meeting] attended by the Hamas leadership and by members of the movement who were in Qatar. Before this meeting [was held], Hamas member Salah Al-'Arouri officially declared from Istanbul that it was Hamas that had kidnapped the three settlers and killed them, in order to promote Hamas's attempt to mobilize the Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Then I asked Mash'al again about those involved in the affair, and he said that Al-'Arouri had spoken for himself, not for Hamas.

I want to say here that no one lies more than them [Hamas] and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). I am not against Islam, but I am against the MB. I am a good Muslim I fast, I pray, and I read the Koran while they are a bunch of liars...

Because of Hamas's lie, this regrettable Gaza war broke out. I phoned the Egyptian president and asked him to submit a proposal to stop the war. I clarified that [such] an initiative would save the Palestinian people, and that it was the entire Palestinian people that was asking him to do this, not Hamas. [I explained this because] I sensed from his words that he wanted nothing whatsoever to do with Hamas. President Al-Sisi met my request, and the Egyptian initiative was proposed. They [had to] propose it for 51 days, because of Hamas's obstinacy, and during this time the land [Gaza] was completely destroyed. On the last day [of the war], Hamas members begged me to declare a ceasefire with no reservations or conditions, after many had already been killed and wounded and Gaza was in ruins.

During the 50-day war, everyone spoke out against me, first of all Fatah. I told them that I am not willing to destroy the West Bank and Ramallah. Hamas, for example, killed three [Israelis], and it wanted an intifada, and I did not respond... At the end of the war, my men told me: You were right. Had we acted like them [i.e., like Hamas], the [entire] land would have been ruined..."

I wondered why Hamas did not accept the reconciliation from the outset, instead of [allowing] the destruction that was caused in the [Gaza] Strip. The same thing happened when they blew up the homes of the Fatah leaders in Gaza recently [on November 7], but claimed that they were not involved in this and that they were investigating the incident. They are liars."

Abbas simply can't understand why Hamas leaders seem to want a war that would destroy Gaza when he does not, but this is exactly the kind of thing that Generational Dynamics explains. Abbas was born in 1935, and lived through the horrors of the 1948 war between Jews and Arabs that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. He says, "Had we acted like [Hamas], the entire land would have been ruined." How did he know that? Because the entire land was ruined by the 1948 war.

The Hamas leaders are young, and have no personal memory of the horrors of the 1948 war. They look at Iran's 1979 Great Islamic Revolution, where a popular uprising overwhelmed the existing government, and installed a hardline Shia government. Using that as a model, they believe that a war with Israel would bring about a popular uprising that would destroy the state of Israel, and put a hardline Sunni government -- governed by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood -- in charge of all the Palestinian territories -- that is, the State of Palestine.

Generational Dynamics predicts that a new war between Jews and Arabs will in fact take place, though it may not turn out exactly as the Hamas leaders hope. The state of Israel may or may not survive, but the Hamas government may not survive either. One thing is pretty certain: That Abbas's worst fears will come true, and the entire land will be ruined. And the Hamas leaders, if they survive, will almost certainly be sorry that the war ever started. MEMRI

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 6-Dec-14 World View -- Sony suffers catastrophic breach, possibly from North Korean hackers thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (6-Dec-2014) Permanent Link
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