The Sony hack isn’t important because of its technological sophistication, which is impressive but probably not particularly innovative….
Consider most of the high-profile hacks of recent years, like the theft of millions of credit card numbers from Target, or The Fappening’s stolen celebrity nudes from Apple accounts, or, indeed, the theft of 77 million Sony PlayStation accounts in 2011. All of these were costly, damaging thefts of private information, but they were fundamentally thefts. Not this time. While tabloid rags are salivating over the juicy Hollywood gossip and Aaron Sorkin is writing impassioned polemics against revealing stolen information, these hackers, whoever they are, genuinely do deserve to be termed cyberterrorists. Many attacks are for financial gain or revelation of valuable or salacious information. The latter is a factor here, but the overriding aim seems to have been to damage Sony Pictures and its employees to the point at which they could barely even function. To my knowledge, there has never before been a cyberattack of this scale. The Guardians of Peace didn’t just steal 100 TB (an ungodly amount) of sensitive data, they also used “wiper malware” to more or less destroy Sony’s internal systems, leaving its entire infrastructure crippled. Just consider what Kevin Roose of Fusion has reported: