By Thomas Madison, Powdered Wig Society
Federal investigators on Friday accused North Korea of carrying out acomputer attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, blaming the Stalinist government for an intrusion that exposed corporate e-mails, wiped out computer data and underlined the cyber capabilities of one of the United States’ top adversaries.American officials had privately said that they believe North Korea was behind the hacking incident. But the new claim marks a significant escalation — the first time that the United States has openly laid blame on a foreign government for a destructive cyberattack against an American corporation.“The FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions,” the bureau said in astatement, adding that the conclusion was based in part on a “technical analysis” of the malware used in the attack, which “revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed.”The attack came in apparent retaliation for Sony’s planned Christmas Day release of “The Interview,” a comedy built around the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The company decided earlier this week to cancel the movie’s release in the face of hackers’ threats.President Obama, during an end-of-year news conference Friday, criticized Sony for that decision, saying he believed it was a “mistake.”
“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” Obama said. “Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they don’t like or news reports that they don’t like.