FBI explains how it linked North Korea to the Sony Pictures hack

There were quite a few skeptics when the FBI blamed North Korea for the Sony Pictures hack, and you can't entirely blame them -- where was the evidence? Well, the bureau is finally willing to provide some explanation of how it reached its conclusion. Director James Comey tells guests at a security conference that some of the email from the hack originated from internet connections used "exclusively" by North Koreans. The hackers "got sloppy" by occasionally forgetting to use proxy servers to mask their whereabouts, he says.

Comey isn't willing to spill the beans on everything since it might show how the US collects intelligence, but he's quick to chide critics who suggest the hack came from somewhere else (such as an inside job) based solely on the publicly available details. "They don't see what I see," he notes. No, these answers won't satisfy theorists convinced that the North Korea link was just a pretext for imposing tougher sanctions on the isolated nation, but they're a friendly reminder that there's often much more to a cyberattack than meets the eye.

[Image credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images]