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Leonid Bershidsky

The Sony Hackers and the Blame Game

Why blaming North Korea for the Sony hacks is being challenged.
What a tangled web they weave.

What a tangled web they weave.

Photographer: Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images

As cyberwars between countries, corporations and organized crime groups heat up, correctly attributing the attacks becomes a priority: responses, obviously, must be tailored to the attribution. The U.S. government last year provided a good and a bad example of how attribution should be handled.

As Thomas Rid and Ben Buchanan of the Department of War Studies at King's College London point out in a recent paper, attributing a cyberattack is "an art as much as a science," requiring what Prussian King Friedrich the Great called military coup d'oeil.