Could North Korea Even Have Downloaded 100 Terabytes?

The Sony story is very complex. One part of it is the claims of amounts hacked. We really do not know. The amounts released to date, while detailed, personal, proprietary and sensitive, are far, far smaller than the total amounts claimed.

In an e-mail, Joseph Fetz argues the physical improbability of North Korea’s having downloaded 100 terabytes from Sony. With the aid of a download calculator, I confirm his argument. There are published estimates of amounts hacked that range from 11 to 100 terabytes, the latter being claimed by Guardians of Peace. At 25.6 megabytes per second, a very high download speed to external servers, this would take (with a 50% overhead) 13,020 hours or 543 days of continuous downloading for 24 hours a day. How plausible is it that anyone outside Sony would or could accomplish that? Even 11 terabytes takes about 50 days.

If 100 terabytes really were hacked, North Korea could not and would not plausibly have done it. If 100 terabytes really were hacked, the hackers would much more likely be inside Sony. On the other hand, if the amounts hacked are much smaller than even 11 terabytes, then the candidates could include North Korea.

Either these terabyte amounts are wildly inflated or else the hacking was done from inside Sony’s system. Download speeds from a computer hard drive to another source connected to that computer are much faster, something like 5120 mps. At that rate, someone inside the Sony organization with such a connection could download 100 terabytes in just 2-3 days.

It is much more plausible to suppose that an employee or several employees could do this and would do this. They’d also be able more plausibly to get the passwords needed to do this. Alternatively, the amounts hacked are far smaller than the estimates being tossed around in articles.

The FBI and the White House have rushed to judgments that certainly haven’t been verified by any evidence. They cannot be accepted at their words alone, especially given their track records, their previous lies, falsehoods and propaganda, and given their ulterior motives.


8:26 am on January 4, 2015