North Korea insists it’s not behind Sony hack, calls it a ‘righteous deed’ anyway

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North Korea categorically denies that it had anything to do with the recent Sony Pictures hack that some reports suggest was carried out in retaliation for the studio’s movie about the nation’s leader– though in a lengthy statement worded in its usual, grandiloquent style described the cyberattack as a “righteous deed.”

Issued on Sunday by North Korea’s Policy Department of the National Defense Commission (NDC), the statement claims the regime has no idea why hackers targeted Sony, adding that it was nevertheless aware that the movie studio was producing a film “hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK by taking advantage of the hostile policy of the U.S. administration towards the DPRK.”

The statement said the attack on Sony, described as a “righteous deed,” may have been the work of “supporters and sympathizers” of North Korea, adding that the actions of such people “will get stronger to smash the evil doings.”

The hack on Sony Pictures’ computer systems came to light toward the end of last month when employees’ PCs started displaying the message “Hacked by #GOP,” apparently short for “Guardians of Peace.”

The severity of the security breach was confirmed at the start of this month when a number of unreleased Sony-produced movies started to show up on filesharing sites. Sony’s problems were further compounded last Friday when the hackers published online thousands of Social Security numbers belonging to not only former and current workers at the company, but also celebrities who’ve worked on Sony Pictures movies.

Embarrassingly for the movie studio, much of the stolen information was contained within spreadsheet files that had no password protection.

The ongoing story appeared to take a more sinister turn over the weekend when a person claiming to be the leader of the hacking group made a threat toward Sony Pictures employees and their families.

North Korea earlier this year voiced anger at Sony Pictures over its making of The Interview, a Seth Rogen flick about a CIA plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un, the nation’s young leader.

The regime said releasing it would be tantamount to “an act of war that we would never tolerate.”

While the ongoing news coverage of the hack continues to generate huge amounts of publicity for the movie, which lands in theaters on Christmas Day, the security breach has turned into a huge embarrassment for Sony Pictures and one it could have certainly done without.