The Obama administration has been relentless in its attacks on leakers of information harmful to the administration.
But if something might make them look good, then strategic leaks put it all over the news. So we found out that the Stuxnet virus that hampered Iran's nuclear activity was a U.S. action. We found out the details of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Arguably, these things should have been keep close to the vest.
Here's another dirty little secret now public. We now know how the U.S. knew that North Korea hacked Sony's information system. See Why the US was so sure North Korea hacked Sony: it had a front-row seat. Excerpt:
According to the New York Times, a recently released top-secret document traces the NSA's infiltration back to 2010, when it piggybacked on South Korean "implants" on North Korea's networks and "sucked back the data". ...
Unidentified officials told the New York Times that the program snowballed, to the point that malware was placed to track the internal workings of many of the computers and networks used by North Korea's cyber forces: an army that South Korea’s military recently said has about 6,000 elite hackers.
But like a lot of surveillance, it didn't prevent anything, it just helped identify the culprits.
In any event, that particular avenue of information is now compromised. That leads us to speculate that either Obama administration desperately needed something to brag about, or they calculated that the elite North Korea hackers couldn't do anything worse than mess up Sony's computer system.