The FBI released a statement this morning (Dec. 19) that said “North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves.”
It continued:”Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior.”
The Obama administration is said to be formulating a response to the hacking attack that will be “proportional” to the damage it has caused. So far it’s not know what that response will be.
According to the FBI, the attack had North Korea’s fingerprint on it based on a previous hack carried out by the totalitarian state.
“Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed,” the FBI said in the statement.
“For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks.”
Specifically, the “attack have similarities to a cyber attack in March of last year against South Korean banks and media outlets, which was carried out by North Korea,” the statement said.
While Korean banks apparently withstood the attack, Sony servers were cracked and the hackers, identified only as “Guardians of Peace” flooded the Internet with internal documents, salary schedules and dozens of emails embarrassing to Sony Co-Chairman Amy Pascal and other executives.
The group’s initial demands appear to have focused on money, but shifted to demands that Sony halt distribution of the Seth Rogen and James Franco movie, which depicts the assassination of Kim.
The demands escalated to physical Sept. 11 style threats against movie theaters that showed the film. Sony capitulated and finally halted distribution after several theater chains pulled the movie, which was scheduled to debut Christmas Day.
The move drew widespread criticism from the media and Hollywood celebrities, who called it a blow against freedom of expression.
But Sony went one step further today, pulling down billboards, the movie’s Web site and promotional videos on YouTube in response to what it said were additional threats.
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