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The cyberattack on Sony that exposed sensitive internal communications and coerced theater chains to drop one of the company's films represents a seminal moment in the advancement of hacking, a cybersecurity executive told CNBC on Wednesday.
While the attack was not technologically sophisticated, its success may embolden other cyber criminals to follow suit, George Kurtz, CEO of Crowdstrike said in a "Squawk on the Street" interview.
"If you look at this particular event, I think it's a blueprint now for how other adversaries and attackers will focus on corporations: Get in, steal data, destroy data, perhaps even extort them for financial gain beyond just political motivations," he said.
The attack marks a transition from a focus on taking data to destroying data, he said. The hackers not only released internal emails and other information, but wiped data from Sony's system.
Most companies do not have adequate security to detect and prevent that sort of attack, he added.
An organization called the Guardians of Peace took responsibility for the attack, claiming it was meant to derail Sony's impending release of "The Interview," a comedy in which two journalists are recruited to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
The U.S. government believes the North Korean leadership is behind the incident. The tactics, techniques and procedures used in the attack are similar to those employed by a North Korean group with ties to the government that Crowdstrike has investigated in the past, Kurtz said.
Sony announced it would make "The Interview" available for rental and purchase online on Wednesday on Google Play, YouTube's movie streaming site, Xbox, and a dedicated website. A number of independent theaters and regional cinema chains also agreed to screen the film beginning on Thursday.