Sony Hack: North Korean Diplomat Reportedly Denies Country's Involvement
A U.S. government-backed news service says the denial articulates the North Korean regime's position
In the latest twist in the Sony hack, North Korea appears to be denying involvement in a damaging cyberattack on the studio, according to an anonymous diplomat who spoke to a U.S. government-backed broadcaster and news website.
"Linking the DPRK to the Sony hacking is another fabrication targeting the country," a North Korean diplomat told Voice of America reporter Baik Sungwon. The North Korean official's name was not disclosed. "My country publicly declared that it would follow international norms banning hacking and piracy," the official added.
Voice of America touted its story as a denial from an official who was articulating the North Korean government's position on the matter. The VOA news service is funded by the U.S. Congress and presided over by the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
The apparent denial of responsibility for the hacking follows a recent comment from a North Korean U.N. mission spokesperson who did not directly deny the country's involvement in the cyberattack. "The hostile forces are relating everything to the DPRK (North Korea). I kindly advise you to just wait and see," said this also anonymous official to the BBC News for a Dec. 2 story.
The country's widely speculated motive for any cyberattack on Sony is that it is a response to the studio's forthcoming Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy The Interview, which revolves around an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The film is set for a Dec. 25 release in the U.S.
More than 3,800 studio employees have been affected by the attack, which has recently spread to auditing firm Deloitte, according to a series of reports by cable network Fusion, a joint venture of ABC and Univision. Salary details, work memos and sensitive data have been leaked by a hacker group titled Guardians of Peace, the reports said.
Sony Pictures has yet to name a source for the cyberattack, and the FBI confirmed an investigation into the matter earlier in the week. "The investigation continues into this very sophisticated cyberattack," a Sony rep said in a statement to THR on Wednesday.