Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cyber Terrorism & Extortion - An Act Of War

It appears that North Korea hacked into Sony Entertainment's computers, in retaliation for their production of a movie called The Interview, a comedy which depicted the killing of the North Korean dictator.  No doubt this was a dumb movie, like many that come out of Hollywood, but in the process North Korean government hackers released Sony employees confidential information.  Then, the North Koreans went one step further by threatening theaters, that screen this movie, with Terrorist attacks.  As a result and because theaters pulled this movie that was supposed to debut on December 25, Christmas Day, which apparently is a big movie day, Sony has suspended release of the movie altogether.   This was a huge mistake.

This amounts to Terrorist extortion by a rogue nation state with nuclear weapons.  For the precedent that this sets, this should be considered an Act of War by Emperor Pinocchio Obama and the Congress of the United States requiring a retaliatory response.  Obama should immediately impose the most stringent sanctions possible designed to bring down the North Korean Communist Regime.  That means making it impossible for them to get access to hard currency, through any global bank, that does business in the United States.  Further, global companies that do business in the United States should be prohibited from doing business with North Korea, if they want to maintain their US connections.  This act of Terrorist Extortion, by a specific country, cannot go unchallenged.

Most important, this demonstrates the seriousness of Cyber Terrorism and potential extortion that could be directed at our government, financial system, power and communications grid, airports and other American companies.  It was a mistake for Sony to suspend release of this film; not because the film is so important; but because the precedent set will encourage other Terrorists to play this very dangerous game.  Obama must react powerfully to make it clear that the United States will not tolerate Cyber Terrorism that threatens our nation.  Let us hope that Obama has the guts to act appropriately; but don't count on it given Obama's feckless foreign policy. 

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