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Former Sony cyber consultant offers perspective on hack

Kim Jong Un (Randall Park, center) in Columbia Pictures'
Kim Jong Un (Randall Park, center) in Columbia Pictures' "The Interview."
Ed Araquel

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Tensions ratcheted up Tuesday with a threat by the Sony hackers to attack theaters that screen the Seth Rogan/James Franco political comedy, "The Interview." The film is at the center of the controversy.

This comes on top of mounting lawsuits filed by former Sony workers against the studio for failing to protect private employee information.

Ralph Echemendia, chief executive of cyber security firm Red E-Digital, previously consulted for Sony Corporation on cyber security issues, and he offered his perspective.

"I'd say this is probably the largest hack against a corporation that we've ever seen," Echemendia said. 

Echemendia was hired as a consultant for Sony in 2011 when the company's Playstation network was hacked, and consumer financial information was compromised. He said the activist group Anonymous was believed to be behind the incident, because of a message that was left at Sony.

It usually takes about one to two months to uncover the identities of hackers, Echemendia says. But the Sony hackers are believed to have been inside Sony's systems possibly for six months, which will make identifying them harder.

Whoever the hackers may be, Echemendia believes Sony, and other organizations, can do a lot more to protect themselves.

"It's not so much that you can prevent the hack -- that's a misconception. The truth is, everyone is going to get hacked. You, me, and everybody else is going to get hacked one way or another. The question is, how quickly can we detected that this has happened."