North Korea has denied involvement in the "fatal" hacking of Sony Pictures that resulted in a handful of the studio's upcoming films leaking online and the personal information of its employees and Hollywood talent being severely comprised. A group dubbed Guardians of Peace, or GOP for short, claimed responsibility for the hack.
Following the November 24th cyber intrusion, one theory floating around was that GOP was connected to North Korea, who staged the hack as revenge for Sony Pictures distributing The Interview, a film where Rolling Stone cover star Seth Rogen and James Franco plot to assassinate Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-un.
The secretive nation had previously threatened Rogen with "stern punishment" and deemed the film an "evil act of provocation." However, in a long statement released Saturday, North Korea denied involvement but still applauded the attack, the Hollywood Reporter writes.
"We do not know where in America the SONY Pictures is situated and for what wrongdoings it became the target of the attack nor we feel the need to know about it," a North Korean government spokesperson said in the statement. "The hacking into the SONY Pictures might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK in response to its appeal."
The statement also accused Sony Pictures of producing "a film abetting a terrorist act while hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK." The statement added that South Korea, "keen on serving its master," "floated the story about the north's involvement." "The south Korean puppet group went the lengths of floating the false rumor that the north was involved in the hacking that happened in the U.S., a country far across the ocean," the statement said.
North Korea's statement comes just days after the hackers continued to torment Sony Pictures employees. On December 5th, a message claiming to be from GOP was distributed via companywide email. In the message, the hacker group warned that employees who didn't "object the false of the company" would "suffer damage." "Not only you but your family will be in danger," the email warned.
Sony Pictures admitted in a statement, "We understand that some of our employees have received an email claiming to be from GOP. We are aware of the situation and working with law enforcement." The FBI and other law enforcement groups continue to investigate the hack.