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North Korea Under the Spotlight for Sony Hack

Sony Pictures Entertainment thinks a cyber attack which forced the company to shut down its network last week could be the work of North Korean hackers, according to reports.

Sources “familiar with the matter” told tech site Re/code that the movie giant is investigating whether operatives from the belligerent hermit nation may have launched the attack from inside China.

The attack coincides with the forthcoming release of Seth Rogan film The Interview – with Pyongyang reportedly claiming it will retaliate against the US if the movie is released.

In the film, Rogan and co-star James Franco apparently play two journalists granted an audience with North Korean despot Kim Jong-un, but who are subsequently recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.

News emerged last week that Sony Pictures Entertainment had been hit with a cyber attack, forcing the IT department to shut down the corporate network and forbid staff from logging in to work email accounts while it investigated.

Some employees claimed that the attack left an image on their screens bearing the message “We’ve obtained all your internal data including your secrets.”

The attackers claimed to be a group known as the ‘Guardians of Peace’, or GOP, and they threatened to release the sensitive data if Sony didn’t meet their demands.

The movie giant itself has been tight-lipped over the incident, only releasing one brief statement that it was “investigating an IT matter.”

If North Korea is behind the attack, it won’t be the first time the totalitarian state has struck out online.

In September last year, Kaspersky Lab revealed Kimsuky – a prolonged but unsophisticated spyware campaign against South Korean organizations.

It’s also believed to have orchestrated the Dark Seoul attacks in March 2013 which wiped computer hard drives at South Korean banks and television broadcasters and even managed to take out ATM networks. 

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