×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

DOJ to Bring Charges Against North Korean Citizen for Sony Hack

The Justice Department plans to announce charges against a North Korean computer programmer alleged to have conspired to conduct multiple hacking attacks, including that of Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014.

Park Jin Hook was part of a government-sponsored hacking team known as the “Lazarus Group,” federal prosecutors said. He worked for a North Korean government front company, Chosun Expo Joint Venture, to support the government’s cyber actions, according to the charges.

The Sony attack was devastating to the studio, and wiped from computers scores of confidential emails that were later posted by Wikileaks. At the time, authorities said that they traced the source of the attack to North Korea. The studio had been preparing to release Seth Rogen and James Franco’s movie “The Interview,” which depicted the assassination of Kim Jong Un. The North Korean regime condemned the movie but denied involvement in the attack.

Prosecutors said that the hacking attack was in retaliation for the release of the movie, and that the hackers “gained access to SPE’s network by sending malware to SPE employees, and then stole confidential data, threatened SPE executives and employees, and damaged thousands of computers.”

The DOJ also said that they targeted other entities in the industry, including  a movie theater chain and a U.K. company that was producing a fictional series involving a British nuclear scientist taken prisoner in North Korea.

The Justice Department said that the cyber operation also created malware used in the 2017 WannaCry 2.0 global ransomware attack and the 2016 theft of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank. Prosecutors also said that there were “numerous other attacks or intrusions on the entertainment, financial services, defense, technology, and virtual currency industries, academia, and electric utilities.”

“We stand with our partners to name the North Korean government as the force behind this destructive global cyber campaign,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “This group’s actions are particularly egregious as they targeted public and private industries worldwide – stealing millions of dollars, threatening to suppress free speech, and crippling hospital systems.”

Park is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the indictment
“points to the need for a clearly thought-out and articulated strategy for deterring and punishing state-sponsored cyberattacks.”

The charges were filed on June 8 but unsealed on Thursday. The announcement came on the same day that President Donald Trump tweeted about the support he has received from Kim. He wrote, “Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims ‘unwavering faith in President Trump.’ Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!”

More to come…

More Politics

  • Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics

    Q&A: Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics While Hosting the SAG Awards

    Megan Mullally is funny. The “Will & Grace” star can also sing and dance. While she’s not picking up the Oscar hosting gig after the Kevin Hart fiasco, Mullally will take center stage on Sunday, Jan. 27 when she makes her debut as the host of the 25th annual SAG Awards. Variety caught up with [...]

  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader

    Fox News Apologizes for Airing Graphic Implying Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Died

    Fox News has apologized for airing a graphic that incorrectly implied Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. The 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice, who is very much alive, is at home recovering from lung surgery. The graphic ran during the morning show “Fox & Friends,” displaying a photo of Ginsburg with the dates 1933-2019. “This was a [...]

  • Kamala Harris

    Kamala Harris Launches 2020 Presidential Bid

    WASHINGTON — Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) launched her presidential campaign on Monday with an online video and an appearance on “Good Morning America” in which she said that “this is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are.” Harris, 54, [...]

  • Editorial use only. No merchandising.Mandatory Credit:

    Lady Gaga Slams Government Shutdown, Mike Pence at Vegas Residency

    Lady Gaga took a short break from singing “Million Reasons” at her Saturday performance of “Enigma” in Las Vegas to slam the president for the continued government shutdown. While sitting at the piano for her performance, Gaga broke into a takedown of the government shutdown and Vice President Mike Pence, who has been in the [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Trump Offers to Extend DACA Protections in Exchange for Border Wall Funding

    WASHINGTON — President Trump on Saturday made an offer to extend temporary protections to those brought to the United States by their undocumented parents, saying that it was a way to “break the logjam” that has led to a protracted government shutdown, now in its 29th day. But Democrats appear ready to reject the deal, [...]

  • Donald Trump

    BuzzFeed Stands by Its Trump Report After Mueller Objection: 'No Indication' of Inaccuracies

    UPDATED: WASHINGTON — BuzzFeed News released a statement Saturday standing by their Thursday report that Donald Trump directed his then-attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow after the Mueller team disputed the report Friday. “As we’ve re-confirmed our reporting, we’ve seen no indication that any specific aspect [...]

  • Nancy Pelosi Donald Trump

    Government Shutdown Turns Into a Battle for Attention in D.C.

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign blasted out a new promotion on Friday: Send a brick to either House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer by midnight. “Since Chuck and Nancy keep stonewalling the President, we’ll send the wall to them, brick by brick, until they agree to secure the border!” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content