The North Korean government has offered a cryptic response when challenged directly by Sony Pictures over its possible involvement in the leak of several largely unreleased films.
“Wait and see” was all the company was officially offered by North Korea.
The altercation follows the online release, over the past weekend, of a clutch of Sony films by a hacking group calling itself #GOP – Guardians of Peace. Films include the Brad Pitt picture Fury, a new version of Annie produced by Jay-Z and Will Smith and Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner, which hasn’t yet had a US release.
Among other films Sony is planning to release soon is The Interview, a Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy about a CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. North Korea has complained to the UN, as well as to Ban Ki-moon, about the film since June 2014, and Sony is seeing the weekend hack as a possible attempt by North Korea to exact its personal vengeance over the film.
North Korea’s UN ambassador, Ja Song Nam, has already called the film “the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war”.
Multiple copies of the leaked films are now scattered around torrent sites, with tens of thousands of “seeders” and “leeches” downloading free copies by the second.
The group is still threatening to leak Sony’s “secrets and top secrets,” thought to include executive salary information, as well as sensitive information about various A-list performers.
The FBI has since warned that the attack on Sony represents a new kind of direct, malicious cyber attack.
A five-page report was issued to businesses yesterday, detailing malware that overrides data on hard drives, including master boot records. These symptoms seem to match some of those that affected Sony Pictures, as well as those in an attack on South Korean TV last year, that was blamed on North Korea.