UPDATE: Guardians of Peace, the hacker group that previously took credit for the Sony cyber attack, mocked the FBI and their investigation that determined North Korea was “centrally involved” in the Sony hack. “The result of investigation by FBI is so excellent that you might have seen what we were doing with your own eye,” the Guardians of Peace wrote in a statement posted on the file-sharing site Pastebin (via CNN). “We congratulate you success. FBI is the BEST in the world. You will find the gift for FBI at the following address. Enjoy.” The hackers also included a link to a YouTube video titled “you are an idiot!”
The FBI and President Barack Obama both confirmed Friday that the cyber attack on Sony Pictures that forced the cancellation of The Interview by threatening acts of terrorism against movie theatres was perpetrated by North Korea. However, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has once again denied that they’re involved in the Sony hack, with the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) issuing a statement that says the secretive nation is being framed.
“Whoever is going to frame our country for a crime should present concrete evidence,” KCNA said (via CNN). “America’s childish investigation result and its attempt to frame us for this crime shows their hostile tendency towards us.” North Korea also said that they would never attack “innocent moviegoers,” as the hackers promised. “The retaliation will target the ones who are responsible and the originators of the insults,” the KCNA reported.
North Korea extends a rare olive branch by offering their services in a “mutual investigation” of the cyber attack. However, “if America refuses our proposal of mutual investigation, continues to link us to this case, and talk about actions in response, [America] will be met with serious consequences,” the KCNA warned.
As The Interview moved toward its December 25th theatrical release date, North Korea called the comedy an “evil act of provocation” and threatened “stern punishment” against its star and co-director Seth Rogen. The crippling Sony Pictures hack followed soon after, with the studio’s upcoming films and confidential, industry-shaking emails leaked out by a group called the “Guardians of Peace.”
When the Sony hack first occurred and some evidence pointed at North Korea playing a role, the DPRK issued a statement denying involvement and saying South Korea “floated the story about the north’s involvement.” While North Korea didn’t take responsibility for the hack, they applauded “Guardians of Peace,” saying the Sony takedown was “a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathizers.”
In President Barack Obama’s year-end address, he called Sony’s decision to pull The Interview “a mistake” and promised a “proportional and appropriate” response to North Korea’s actions, but wouldn’t elaborate on what the U.S. had planned. The Daily Beast suggests that the United States could pressure China – North Korea’s most important trade partner – to place economic sanctions on Kim Jong Un’s country as retribution for the Sony hack.