After more than a week of speculation that hackers with ties to North Korea were behind the massive cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, an official from the communist regime is claiming the country was not involved.
“Linking the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea) to the Sony hacking is another fabrication targeting the country,” an unidentified North Korean diplomat told Voice of America. “My country publicly declared that it would follow international norms banning hacking and piracy.”
Earlier this week, a spokesman for North Korea’s United Nations delegation provided a cryptic statement to the BBC. When asked about the SPE incident, the official told the news service to “kindly just wait and see.”
The Nov. 24 attack on Sony Pictures’ computer systems disabled email and other internal systems for about a week. The hack — by a group that’s dubbed itself “Guardians of Peace” — has resulted in internal studio data being posted online, including salaries of top execs and private info of SPE employees.
Hackers also have disseminated data allegedly revealing the finances behind Sony’s upcoming film “The Interview,” a political satire starring James Franco and Seth Rogen set to bow Dec. 25. In the movie, the American journalists are tapped by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
In addition, five Sony films including Brad Pitt-starrer “Fury” and unreleased movies “Annie,” “Mr. Turner,” “Still Alice” and “To Write Love on Her Arms” were stolen in the attack and uploaded to piracy networks.
Speculation about North Korea’s involvement in the SPE cyber-attack has been centered on the country’s supposed retaliation for SPE’s release of “The Interview.” Sony is sticking with its plans to premiere the film on Christmas Day.
Previously, North Korea has expressed its displeasure with “The Interview.” Officials have denounced the movie as propaganda and have said the country would take “merciless counter-measures” against those associated with it. North Korean officials even sent a letter to the President Obama requesting that the White House block the movie’s release, according to VOA.
The FBI is leading an investigation into the SPE cyber-attack, and at least three other Hollywood studios are reassessing their information-technology security measures in the wake of the incident. In a memo to employees Tuesday, Sony Pictures Entertainment bosses Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal said they were “deeply saddened” about the breach, which they called “malicious criminal acts.”