Sony Pictures, the film studio apparently brave enough to release a new movie premised on assassinating Kim Jong Un, was recently hacked by someone. Naturally, the North Korean government is denying any involvement whatsoever -- although they were not exactly sorry to see it happen:
North Korea has denied that it was behind a massive hack at Sony Pictures, which is set to release a comedy about a CIA plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jon Ill.
A spokesman for the country’s National Defense Commission, speaking through the state-run KCNA news service, said the hack was a “righteous deed” that might have been carried out by “supporters and sympathizers” of the Asian nation.
Accusations that Pyongyang was behind the attack, however, are a “false rumor.”
“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,” the spokesman said.
While experts may not be able to definitively prove yet that the government of North Korea is responsible, Pyongyang certainly had at least one reason to target the studio:
Pyongyang has repeatedly complained about "The Interview," at one point writing a letter of complaint to President Barack Obama about the film. North Korea has built a cult of personality around the Kim family, which has ruled for three generations, and sees any outside criticism or mockery of its leader as an attack on its sovereignty. It recently opened fire on anti-Pyongyang propaganda balloons that North Korean defectors in the South were floating across the border into the North.
Meanwhile, it’s also rather obvious this breach was no mere fluke carried out by amateurs:
“It’s very clear a nation state has done it…”
The hack was “pretty devastating,” a security expert recently told the Washington Post. Not only were identities stolen and movies prematurely leaked, but the company’s ability to make money in the future could be irrevocably damaged:
The cost to the hack against Sony Pictures is complicated to calculate. The company will have to bring in cybersecurity firms to investigate what happened and invest substantial efforts to get their networks up and running again. The studio will suffer lost revenue from films that were stolen and released online by hackers, and it might face legal costs responding to the needs of former and current employees whose personal information has been exposed. Documents allegedly released by the perpetrators of the digital heist may also put a damper on deals in process, or make some Hollywood stars -- some of whom appear to have had their personal data exposed by the attack -- less inclined to do business with the company.
All the same, Sony has been targeted before so at least some security experts -- given the nature of the attack -- are of the opinion that North Korea is not responsible. But the timing is certainly suspicious, as are the regime's past threats against the U.S. if the film is not permanently shelved.
Sony, however, is not caving to international pressure and still intends to release the film later this month.