Sony attack must have been our friends: KCNA

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Sony attack must have been our friends: KCNA

The Pyongyang government’s state-run media said the cyber attack on Sony’s Hollywood studio may have been the work of pro-North Korean supporters in a report on Sunday that dismissed charges that the country itself was to blame as “wild rumor.”

“The hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK in response to its appeal,” the article by the KCNA news agency said, using the official DPRK acronym for North Korea.

The article, which was the nation’s most detailed response about the attack, denounced South Korea, accusing Seoul of “floating the false rumor that the North was involved in the hacking.”

It also warned the United States that “there are a great number of supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK all over the world.”

It said Guardians of Peace, the hacking gang that has taken responsibility for the attack on the Sony Corp. unit, was one such group. A North Korean diplomat has denied that Pyongyang was behind the attack that was launched last month, though a U.S. national security source said it was a suspect.

To date, cybersecurity experts say most of its cyber capabilities have targeted South Korea, which is technically still in a state of war with the North.

The attack shut down most of the studio’s network for more than a week and hackers have released sensitive data over the Internet, including employee salaries and Social Security numbers along with high-quality digital versions of several unreleased films.

Forensics experts hired by Sony said the breach was unprecedented, well-planned and carried out by an “organized group,” according to an email obtained by Reuters on Saturday.

That document did not identify suspects, but people close to the investigation have told Reuters that North Korea is a principal suspect based on technical evidence and Pyongyang’s strong opposition to Sony Pictures’ comedy “The Interview,” which features a plot to assassinate the North Korean leader and is due to open Dec. 25 in the United States.

North Korea has described the film as an “act of war,” though a North Korean diplomat last week denied that his nation was involved in the cyber attack.

Sony appears to be going ahead with its Christmas release.

Actors James Franco and Seth Rogen appeared on the U.S. television program “Saturday Night Live” to promote “The Interview,” in which they co-star.

“Something pretty crazy happened this week,” Franco joked as he began a monologue about the unprecedented attack, which included the theft of sensitive data of actors who had worked on Sony films.

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