N Korea media says ‘supporters’ responsible for Sony hack

State-controlled broadcast claims Guardians of Peace not state-linked

Tags: Cyber crimeSony CorporationUSA
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N Korea media says ‘supporters’ responsible for Sony hack If North Korea, or its supporters, were involved in the raid, the motive is likely to be a Sony movie that involves a plot to assassinate Kim Jong Un. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  December 8, 2014

North Korea's state-controlled media yesterday lambasted claims that the Pyongyang government was behind the crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, while suggesting the incident could be the work of the country's supporters, Reuters reported.

"The hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathisers with the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] in response to its appeal," the KCNA news agency reported, dismissing claims of direct involvement by Kim Jong Un's government as "wild rumour".

It also suggested that pro-North Korea supporters were numerous and spread across the globe. It claimed Guardians of Peace, the group that claimed responsibility for the Sony Pictures attack, was one such supporter, and blamed rival South Korea of "floating the false rumour that the North was involved in the hacking."

Reuters cited comments from Joseph DeTrani, a former high-ranking US intelligence official who previously served as a special envoy in talks with Pyongyang. DeTrani said North Korea has a reputation of telling the truth about its involvement in attacks. But he added that, since Kim Jong Un has only been in power for around three years, the nation could have deviated from that practice.

The attack on Sony Corp's US media division took its network offline for more than a week, wiped PCs and resulted in the theft of personal data and intellectual property, including forthcoming movies that were uploaded to torrent sites.

If North Korea, or its supporters, were involved in the raid, the motive is likely to be a Sony Pictures movie called "The Interview", in which two US journalists are recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong Un.

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