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State-sponsored cyber-attacks are on the increase, but North Korea probably didn’t target Sony

Professor Carsten Maple, the director of research in cybersecurity at WMG's Cyber Security Centre (CSC) at the University of Warwick, doesn’t believe North Korea is responsible for the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures.

“We are no doubt seeing a rise in state-sponsored attacks but also there are a significant number of ‘hacktivist’ attacks,” he said. “Just like states have skirmishes over territories, there’s now a battlefield around information, but my feeling is that North Korea is not behind the targeting of Sony Pictures.

“It could have been anyone – possibly a North Korean, a supporter of Kim Jong-Un, for example, but it could have also been for a million other reasons – it isn’t the first time Sony has fallen victim to cyber assaults. A spokesperson for the North Korean government said “wait and see” when asked if the Pyongyang was behind the attack. I doubt it – those aren’t usually the words of someone who is responsible for a hack. We will only really know when we hear more about the way the attackers got in – state attacks are usually more sophisticated, more expensive and take longer to develop.”

Note to Editors:

Professor Maple is available for interviews. Call 07850 297 725 or email

Issued by Lee Page, Communications Manager, Press and Policy Office, The University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255, Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email:



Professor Maple

+44 (0)7850 297 725

Lee Page, Communications Manager

+44 (0)2476 574 255

+44 (0)7920 531 221