Following a major malware attack on Sony Entertainment Pictures, some security experts suspected North Korean involvement. Now the state has officially denied any involvement, although it said its supporters might have conducted the attack on their own.
On Sunday, the North Korean government issued a statement through the official Korean Central News Agency in which it spoke approvingly of the hack but insisted the state didn’t instigate it. The official statement follows a previous denial issued last Wednesday by an anonymous North Korean diplomat in New York.
“The hacking into the Sony Pictures might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK [North Korea] in response to its appeal,” the official statement reads.
Many security experts have suspected North Korean involvement in the hack. Among other breaches, the attack led to the public leak of Sony’s unreleased film The Interview, a comedy satirizing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that the state has denounced as “terrorism.” Korean-language malware was also used in the attack.
The North Korean statement instead suggests the hack was a show of support for North Korea by the hacker group “Guardians of Peace,” which claimed responsibility for the attack. Joseph DeTrani, a former U.S. envoy to North Korea, told Reuters said North Korea has historically been truthful in claiming or declaiming responsibility for various attacks, although he added that the regime could have changed its policy.
“The U.S. should also know that there are a great number of supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK [North Korea] all over the world as well as the ‘champions of peace’ who attacked the Sony Pictures,” the North Korean statement continued.
The unprecedented hack has led to leaks of four unreleased Sony films and salary information of many employees and actors. The attackers aren’t done yet, and issued a new threat toward Sony employees and their families over the weekend, Recode reports.
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