Speaking off the record, senior intelligence officials have told the New York Times, CNN, and other news agencies that North Korea was “centrally involved” in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE).

This news comes as SPE cancelled the planned December 25th release of The Interview, a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The film was withdrawn in response to threats to carry out attacks on those cinemas showing the film.
This threat, transforming the hacks from an embarrassment to Sony to a potential risk to life and limb, sets the SPE hack apart from past attacks on corporate computer systems, according to officials speaking to NYT.
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