An official said on Wednesday that federal investigators have connected North Korea to the hacking of Sony Entertainment, “though it remained unclear how the federal government would respond to a break-in that exposed sensitive documents and ultimately led to terrorist threats against moviegoers.”
A source, who told Associated Press a more “formal” statement might come soon, was not authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation. “A security professional with knowledge of the breach also said investigators had strong circumstantial evidence and technical commonalities pointing to North Korea.”
North Korea has denied any involvement with the hacking, but described it as a “righteous deed.”
The unidentified hackers had demanded that Sony cancel its release of the movie “The Interview,” a comedy that included a gruesome scene depicting the assassination of North Korea’s leader. Sony on Wednesday canceled the Dec. 25 release, citing the threats of violence at movie theaters that planned to show the movie, and later said there were no further plans to release the film.
A security professional explained that “because North Korea is highly controlled in its connection to the outside world, links back to it are almost always to proxies or presumed connections to the country.”
Beyond the technical commonalities, the professional said, the circumstantial evidence was strong, including a June declaration by the North Korean foreign ministry that the movie would be considered an “act of war.”
Bernadette Meehan, National Secuirty Council spokesperson said the United States was considering “a range of options.”