WATCH: The New York Times reports that American intelligence tapped North Korean networks several years ago. Bob Orr has the details.
TORONTO – The U.S. National Security Agency tapped into North Korean networks in 2010, an effort that may have helped authorities to conclude the country was behind the unprecedented cyber-attack on Sony Pictures in November, according to a new report.
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According to a New York Times report, citing former U.S. and foreign officials and leaked NSA documents, the agency breached North Korean computers with the help of South Korea and other international allies by tapping into the Chinese networks that connect North Korea to the outside world.
TIMELINE: How the Sony hacking scandal unfolded
“A classified security agency program expanded into an ambitious effort, officials said, to place malware that could track the internal workings of many of the computers and networks used by the North’s hackers,” read the article published Sunday.
According to the report, evidence gathered by “early warning radar” in the software hidden in North Korea’s networks helped lead authorities to the conclusion the nation was behind the Sony Pictures cyber-attack.
North Korea has denied any involvement in the attack.
READ MORE: Who really hacked Sony Pictures? New reports cast doubt on North Korea connection
U.S. authorities haven’t revealed many details into its investigation of the attack; however, earlier this month FBI director James Comey said the hackers “got sloppy” when masking their IP addresses, allowing investigators to catch the malware attempting to connect directly to a North Korean Internet connection.
Some experts have raised doubts about North Korea’s involvement in the attack; however, Comey said those who question the nation’s involvement don’t have all the information the FBI does.