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During the December 19 press conference in which he named North Korea as the culprit, Obama said, “We’ve got no indication that North Korea was acting in conjunction with another country.” There are reasons to be skeptical of such sweeping assurances.

These include China, Russia, and, most disturbingly, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism—Iran.

But North Korea itself, while gloating over the damage, has denied responsibility. What we do know is that North Korea has a long and enterprising history of illicit activities, and has done plenty of business with countries that are becoming increasingly notorious for their cyber-warfare capabilities.

While the investigators could not determine whether the Iranian government was involved, asserted, “It’s unlikely that any hackers inside the country could pull off an attack of that scope without [the government’s] knowledge, given the close scrutiny of internet use within its borders.” The article also noted that the attack was unprecedented.

While other countries have spied on American companies and stolen information from them, the attack on the Sands involved something new: It appears to have been the first time “that a foreign player simply sought to destroy American corporate infrastructure on such a scale.” And it was probably payback for a comment made by Las Vegas Sands majority owner Sheldon Adelson.

When asked for any official press releases or documents related to the Sands attack, an FBI spokesperson responded, “To my knowledge, no public documents, to include news releases, have been filed about this case.” The FBI also declined to answer any questions, saying, “The FBI’s investigation into the Las Vegas Sands Corporation intrusion is still pending, and, as such, further information is not available.” The Sands, which has confirmed the attack but not its origins, declined a request for further comment on the incident.

In similar fashion, President Obama has publicly dismissed the idea that North Korea had help in its attack on Sony.HP’s suspicions were echoed in an early December report by a California-based security consulting firm, Cylance.The report focuses on a group of Iranian hackers believed to be working out of Tehran.In October 2013, Adelson spoke at Yeshiva University in Manhattan.When asked for his opinion of President Obama’s efforts to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program, he replied that Iran was not going to be bargained out of its pursuit of nuclear weapons.Syria and Cuba might be more interested, but have less to offer in return.Iran, on the other hand, has flourishing cyber-warfare capabilities and substantial oil supplies. There have been no reports of any hard evidence indicating that another state colluded with North Korea in the attack. investigators are indeed looking into the possibility that “Pyongyang ‘contracted out’ some of the cyber work.” The FBI has been standing by its statement that the North Korean government was behind the attack, but has been sparing in its release of any details.Unfortunately overshadowed by saturation coverage of the Sony hack, Elgin and Riley broke the story that private investigators from Dell Secure Works, hired by the Sands, had traced the attack back to Iran.And on January 2, 2015, in response to the attack, the U. government imposed sanctions targeting ten North Korean individuals, including two working in Iran, and one in Iran’s client state, Syria.More importantly, Obama is heavily invested in the Iran nuclear talks, which he described in a recent interview with National Public Radio as Tehran’s “chance to get right with the world.” In an interim agreement reached in Geneva on November 24, 2013, the nuclear talks were advertised as a route to a comprehensive deal within six months.

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