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Sony Pictures Entertainment has agreed to pay up to $8 million over employees’ personal data lost in the 2014 hacking scandal surrounding the release of The Interview movie.

Hackers had broken into Sony computers and released thousands of items of personal information in an attempt to derail the release of the North Korea-themed comedy.

Sony employees argued they suffered economic harm from the stolen data.

US investigators have blamed North Korean hackers for the attack.

The cyber attack wiped out massive amounts of data and led to the online distribution of emails, personal and sensitive employee data as well as pirated copies of new movies.Sony Pictures hack attack

The lawsuit against the company was filed by former employees claiming Sony’s negligence caused them economic harm by forcing them to step up credit monitoring to address their increased risk of identity theft. They described the data breach as an “epic nightmare.”

The Interview depicted the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The cyber-attack drew widespread international attention and Sony subsequently stopped the movie’s general release.

An unknown group calling itself #GOP – later identified as Guardians of Peace – claimed it was behind the attack, prompting the FBI to launch an investigation.


North Korea dismissed any suggestion it may have had a hand in the attack as a form of retaliation for Sony’s release of The Interview. A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman had earlier called the movie an “act of terrorism”, promising “merciless” retaliation if it was released.

The Interview eventually received a much smaller release and was offered through legal digital downloads.

The settlement with a US District Court in Los Angeles still needs to be approved by a judge but it sees Sony paying pay up to $8 million to reimburse current and former employees for losses, preventative measures and legal fees related to the hack of its computers in 2014.

Under the agreement, Sony Entertainment will pay up to $10,000 a person, capped at $2.5 million, to reimburse employees for identity theft losses, up to $1,000 each to cover the cost of credit-fraud protection services, capped at $2 million, and up to $3.5 million to cover legal fees.

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton called the agreement “an important, positive step forward in putting the cyber-attack firmly behind us”.

The court had dismissed Sony’s initial attempt to stops the court case, confirming that the employees could pursue their claims that the company was negligent and violated a California confidentiality law.

Sony Pictures Entertainment has failed to dismiss a legal action brought by nine ex-employees over the last year’s cyber attack.

A judge said the plaintiffs could pursue claims that the film unit of the Sony corporation had been negligent.

The plaintiffs are seeking to hold Sony liable for not bolstering security after previous breaches.

“We are pleased that the court has properly recognized the harm to Sony’s employees,” said lawyer Michael Sobol.

Many Sony employees had their personal details made public in 2014 when a group calling itself Guardians of Peace leaked data from the studio’s computers.

The attack was described as an act of revenge motivated by Sony’s release of The Interview, a comedy about an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.Sony hack attack legal action

The nine plaintiffs claim Sony Pictures Entertainment violated a California confidentiality law by spurning security measures to stop the theft of employees’ salary and health data, Social Security numbers and other sensitive information.

Without ruling on their action’s merits, US District Judge Gary Klausner said Sony had created a “special relationship” with its employees by requiring them to provide personal information to be eligible for salaries and benefits.

The former workers said Sony’s negligence caused them economic harm and that the hack had been “an epic nightmare, much better suited to a cinematic thriller than to real life”.

The Interview, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen as journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un, was initially withdrawn from cinemas but was later made available online.

South Korean activist Lee Min-bok has flown thousands of copies of controversial Sony film The Interview over the North Korean border.

Lee Min-bok said he had carried out the launches at night four times since January, most recently on April 4.

The Seth Rogen comedy, about a fictional CIA plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, enraged Pyongyang.

Sony initially pulled The Interview after a hacking attack and threats to attack cinemas which were screening it.

But it changed its mind and gave the film a limited cinema release after being accused of responding to an attack on free speech.

The FBI says North Korea was behind the hack and threats, though it denies this.The Interview DVD's sent into North Korea with balloons

Lee Min-bok, a defector from North Korea, said he had tied the DVDs to balloons along with bundles of US dollars and leaflets criticizing Kim Jong-un’s regime.

He told AFP news agency: “I launched thousands of copies and about a million leaflets on Saturday, near the western part of the border.”

He said the launches were all done in remote areas and without publicity but that the police “would have no right to stop me”.

Lee Min-bok told CNN, which joined him on Saturday’s launch, that he had not laughed at The Interview and found it vulgar.

But he said North Korea “hates this film because it shows Kim Jong-un as a man, not a God” and that he wanted to “tell the truth” to North Koreans.

Any North Korean who had access to a DVD player and was found to have watched the film would likely face a lengthy sentence in a prison camp.

South Korean activists have repeatedly carried out balloon drops across the border of material which they say shows the reality of life outside the restrictive country, in the hope of encouraging North Koreans to reject propaganda and stand up to their leadership.

North Korea has demanded South Korea stop such launches, saying they are provocative. Its border guards have in the past tried to shoot down the balloons.

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Sony Pictures’ co-chair Amy Pascal has decided to step down following a debilitating cyber attack that revealed her private emails.

Amy Pascal will start a production company that will launch in May 2015.

She has already apologized for certain revelations that came as a result of the leaked emails.

Last month, Sony condemned the “vicious” attack, which led it to suspend the release of the film The Interview.

“I have spent almost my entire professional life at Sony Pictures and I am energized to be starting this new chapter based at the company I call home,” said Amy Pascal in a statement.Amy Pascal quits Sony Pictures after hack attack

She added that her transition to a production role had been discussed “for some time”.

As part of the agreement, Sony will fund Amy Pascal’s production company for at least the next four years, and it will retain distribution rights.

Sony did not immediately name a successor to Amy Pascal, leaving Michael Lynton as the sole head of one of Hollywood’s biggest production studios.

Amy Pascal was one of the highest profile Sony names whose emails were leaked as part of the hack.

She reportedly commented on the viewing habits of President Barack Obama in a derogatory manner in an email to producer Scott Rudin.

Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin both subsequently apologized for the emails, with Amy Pascal saying in a statement at the time: “The content of my emails to Scott were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am.

“Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended.”

On November 24, Sony revealed that it had been the subject of a hack by a group calling themselves Guardians of Peace (GOP).

GOP was later traced back to North Korea, who US authorities believe instituted the attack in retaliation for Sony’s decision to produce The Interview, in which North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is killed.

The group gained access to the company’s network and stole huge amounts of internal information, including emails and copies of films, such as Annie, that had not yet been released.

Although Sony did withdraw The Interview before its planned release, it ultimately made it available to view online and allowed it to be shown at some cinemas.

The Interview made about $15 million through downloads alone over its first three days of distribution.

According to the New York Times and Der Spiegel, the US knew North Korea was behind the Sony Pictures hack because it had secretly infiltrated the country’s computer networks in 2010.

The newspapers cited US officials and leaked documents from the National Security Agency (NSA).

The New York Times said hidden software had alerted US intelligence services to North Korean hacking activity.

North Korea has consistently denied involvement in the security breach.

American investigators believe the hackers spent two months building up a map of Sony’s systems before the hack took place, the papers say.

November’s attack on the company saw the leak of sensitive documents including salary details and confidential emails between executives.NSA hacked North Korea computers

It also resulted in Sony film The Interview, a comedy about an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, being briefly shelved and then released online.

The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the intelligence community was fully aware of North Korean attempts to infiltrate US commercial networks, tracking them routinely.

“While no two situations are the same, it is our shared goal to prevent bad actors from exploiting, disrupting or damaging US commercial networks and cyber infrastructure,” said spokesman Brian Hale.

“When it becomes clear that cyber criminals have the ability and intent to do damage, we work cooperatively to defend networks.”

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FBI director James Comey says the bureau is confident that North Korea was behind the Sony Pictures cyber-attack last year because the hackers “got sloppy”.

James Comey said the group posted material from servers used exclusively by the North Koreans.

November’s attack on Sony Pictures saw the leak of sensitive documents, and film The Interview briefly shelved.

Cyber security experts have been skeptical about the FBI’s assertion North Korea was to blame.

Sony’s decision to temporarily cancel The Interview‘s release was described by President Barack Obama as “a mistake”. Sony later released the film in independent cinemas and also distributed it online.

The Interview‘s plot revolves around a plan to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.Sony Pictures attack The Interview

Pyongyang has denied being behind the cyber-attack, but described it as a “righteous deed”.

In retaliation, the US has placed sanctions on three North Korean organizations and 10 individuals.

The sanctions are believed to be the first time the US has moved to punish any country for cyber-attacks on a US company.

James Comey had been addressing delegates at the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York.

He said there was evidence the hackers had used proxy servers in an attempt to disguise the attack’s origins, but sometimes neglected to do so, revealing, the FBI believes, the true location.

However, experts remain unconvinced that the US has proved its case.

“To be frank, director Comey has not revealed anything new,” said Brian Honan, a security researcher.

“Various IP addresses have been associated with this attack, from a hotel in Taiwan to IP addresses in Japan.

“Any IP address connected to the internet can be compromised and used by attackers.”

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The Interview will have “a wide release” in the UK and Ireland, Sony Pictures has confirmed.

The controversial North Korea comedy, which presents a fictional plot to kill Kim Jong-un, will be shown, in theaters only, from February 6.

Sony Pictures had withdrawn The Interview in the wake of a damaging studio cyber-attack, only to then release it in selected cinemas and make it available online in the US.

The film has now made more than $31 million from its digital distribution.

Its limited theatrical release, meanwhile, has netted its makers around $5 million.The Interview to be released in the UK and Ireland

Co-written and co-directed by its star Seth Rogen, The Interview was described last year as a “blatant act of terrorism” by North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency.

Its scheduled release is thought to have motivated the orchestrated attack that saw films, confidential emails and Sony staff’s salary details being leaked online.

Sony faced widespread criticism for initially cancelling the film’s theatrical release, a decision that President Barack Obama called a “mistake”.

The US has placed sanctions on three North Korean organizations and ten individuals after the FBI blamed Pyongyang for the cyber-attack.

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In his speech at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has condemned the “vicious” cyber attack that led to it suspending the release of its film The Interview.

The Guardians of Peace hacker group attacked Sony in a bid to stop the release of the movie.

Kazuo Hirai said he was proud of those who stood up against the “extortionist” tactics of the hackers.

“Both Sony, former employees and current employees were the victim of one of the most vicious and malicious cyber attacks in recent history,” said Kazuo Hirai in off-the-cuff remarks made just before Sony’s press conference at CES began.

Speaking to the press, Kazuo Hirai said it would be “remiss” of him if he did not talk about the events of the last few weeks.

Sony has suffered a series of revelations orchestrated by the Guardians of Peace which gained access to the company’s network and stole huge amounts of internal information.

Photo AFP

Photo AFP

This led to movies being pirated, personal information being shared and millions of private emails published.

The attacks were carried out to convince Sony to halt the release of The Interview – a comedy about journalists recruited to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The movie’s subject matter led US authorities to blame North Korea for the cyber assault, but many security experts have expressed doubt about this theory.

Sony did withdraw The Interview before its planned release, but it is now available to view online and is on show at some cinemas. It made about $15 million through downloads alone over its first three days of distribution.

“I have to say that I’m very proud of all the employees, and certainly the partners who stood up against the extortionist efforts of criminals, and worked tirelessly, sometimes for days on end to bring you The Interview,” said Kazuo Hirai.

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North Korea has attacked new US sanctions in response to a major cyber-attack against Sony Pictures.

The US placed sanctions on three North Korean organizations and 10 individuals after the FBI blamed Pyongyang for the cyber-attack.

North Korea praised the attack on Sony but denied any involvement in it.

It came as Sony Pictures was about to release The Interview, a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Sony initially cancelled plans to screen The Interview, before deciding to release it online and at a limited number of cinemas.

The sanctions imposed on January 2 are believed to be the first time the US has moved to punish any country for cyber-attacks on an American company.

Announcing them, White House officials told reporters the move was in response to the Sony hack, but the targets of the sanctions were not directly involved.

In response, North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency on January 4 quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying: “The policy persistently pursued by the US to stifle the DPRK [North Korea], groundlessly stirring up bad blood towards it, would only harden its will and resolution to defend the sovereignty of the country.

“The persistent and unilateral action taken by the White House to slap <<sanctions>> against the DPRK patently proves that it is still not away from inveterate repugnancy and hostility toward the DPRK.”

US sanctions were already in place over North Korea’s nuclear program but analysts said the new sanctions were designed to further isolate the country’s defense industry.

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On January 2, 2015, the White House has announced new sanctions on North Korea in response to a cyber-attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order allowing sanctions on three North Korean organizations and 10 individuals.

The White House said the move was a response to North Korea’s “provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions”.

US sanctions are already in place over North Korea’s nuclear program.

However, today’s actions are believed to be the first time the US has moved to punish any country for cyber-attacks on an American company.

Among those named in the sanctions were:US sanctions on North Korea after Sony attack

  • The Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korea’s primary intelligence organization.
  • North Korea’s primary arms dealer, the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (Komid).
  • Korea Tangun Trading Corporation, which supports North Korea’s defense research.
  • Jang Song-chol: Named by the US Treasury as a Komid representative in Russia and a government official.
  • Kim Yong- chol: An official of the North Korean government, according to the US, and a Komid representative in Iran.
  • Ryu Jin and Kang Ryong: Komid officials and members of the North Korean government who are operating in Syria, according to the US.

White House officials told reporters the move was in response to the Sony hack, but the targets of the sanctions were not directly involved.

Instead, the sanctions are designed to further isolate North Korea’s defense industry as deterrent for future cyber-attacks.

The FBI and President Barack Obama have previously said they believe North Korea was behind the cyber-attack.

North Korea denies involvement in the hack, and some cyber-security experts have also cast doubt on its guilt.

However, a senior White House official said it was extremely rare for the US to attribute cyber-attacks, and it was only done so because of the destructive nature of the attack, and because the White House saw it as “crossing a threshold”.

Sony was embarrassed after a group calling itself Guardians of Peace leaked data from its computers, exposing emails and personal details.

The group later threatened cinema chains planning to screen Sony’s North Korea comedy, The Interview.

References to the 9/11 terror attacks prompted the cancellation of The Interview‘s nationwide release. A small number of independent cinemas did screen the film, and it was released online.

Announcing the new sanctions, the US said the apparent effort to stifle The Interview release was part of the justification for the new restrictions.

“We take seriously North Korea’s attack that aimed to create destructive financial effects on a US company and to threaten artists and other individuals with the goal of restricting their right to free expression,” the White House said in a statement.

“Today’s actions are the first aspect of our response.”

North Korea has blamed the US for lengthy internet outages in the country last week.

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Yoon Mi-rae has threatened to sue Sony Pictures Entertainment for using one of her songs in the controversial movie The Interview without permission, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

The Interview is a comedy about the assassination attempt of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The South Korean singer’s song, Pay Day, is said to have been used in a scene in which the actor playing the North Korean leader drinks and plays billiards with women who are wearing underwear.Yoon Mi rae sues Sony Pictures over The Interview

The Interview had its launch cancelled after a major cyber attack at the hands of a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace.

The hackers threatened to carry out a terrorist attack on cinemas that showed the film on its scheduled release date of Christmas Day.

The US accused the North Koreans of being behind the hack, something the country denies.

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North Korea has berated President Barack Obama over the release of The Interview movie in the US.

The Interview is about a fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korea’s National Defense Commission (NDC) also accused the US of shutting down the country’s internet – and used a racial slur to describe the “reckless” Barack Obama.

Sony Pictures had originally pulled The Interview after a cyber-attack and threats.

The company later reconsidered, releasing the comedy on Christmas Day.

A number of critics – including President Barack Obama – had warned that freedom of expression was under threat if the movie was shelved.

The controversial film was shown in some US cinemas and online, with several hundred independent theaters coming forward and offering to show the film. However, larger cinemas decided not screen it.North Korea berates Barack Obama for The Interview release

Kim Jong-un’s potential difficulty is that The Interview – which casts the North Korean leader as a malign, vain buffoon – has been widely reviewed as funny and astute.

In a statement on Saturday, an NDC spokesman denounced the US for screening the “dishonest and reactionary movie hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK [North Korea] and agitating terrorism”.

President Barack Obama, the statement said, “is the chief culprit who forced the Sony Pictures Entertainment to indiscriminately distribute the movie”, blackmailing cinemas in the US.

It added: “Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.”

The NDC also accused also Washington of “groundlessly linking the unheard of hacking at the Sony Pictures Entertainment to the DPRK”.

Sony Pictures had initially pulled the film after suffering an unprecedented hacking attack at the hands of a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace.

The hackers also threatened to carry out a terrorist attack on cinemas showed the film on its scheduled release date of Christmas Day.

Last week, the FBI said its analysis pointed the finger at North Korea. However, many cyber-security experts have come forward to dispute this assertion.

At the time, North Korea denied being behind the attack but described it as a “righteous deed”.

North Korea subsequently suffered a severe internet outage.

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The Interview has opened in some US theaters and online, after a cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and threats to moviegoers over its release.

Sony Pictures had originally pulled The Interview, a movie about a fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but it reconsidered after critics – including President Barack Obama.

The studio said freedom of expression was under threat.

Some movie theaters organized midnight showings for Americans determined to see The Interview on the big screen.

Several hundred independent theaters across the US have come forward offering to show the title after larger cinemas decided not to screen it following threats.

Lee Peterson, manager of Cinema Village in New York, told Reuters news agency it was a matter of principle to show the film.

“Obviously we would like to make money from the movie, as we would with any movie, but it’s important to take a stand about freedom, freedom of speech, freedom to see movies.”

Photo Canadian Press

Photo Canadian Press

The film is also being offered through a dedicated website and via Google services YouTube and Play, and Microsoft’s Xbox Video platform, but only in the US.

Sony Pictures initially pulled the film after suffering an unprecedented hacking attack at the hands of a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace.

Last week, the FBI said its analysis pointed the finger at North Korea. However, many cybersecurity experts have come forward to dispute this assertion.

North Korea denied being behind the attack but described it as a “righteous deed”.

The hackers threatened to carry out a terrorist attack on theaters showed the film on its scheduled release date of Christmas Day. After many cinemas pulled out, Sony cancelled the release.

That move was described by President Barack Obama as a mistake.

Sony Chairman Michael Lynton said digital distribution had now been chosen to reverse some of that damage.

“It was essential for our studio to release this movie, especially given the assault upon our business and our employees by those who wanted to stop free speech.

“We chose the path of digital distribution first so as to reach as many people as possible on opening day, and we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release.”

The Interview features James Franco and Seth Rogen as two journalists granted an audience with Kim Jong-un. The CIA then enlists the pair to assassinate the North Korean leader.

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The Interview has been released online after Sony cyber-attack and a row over its release.

The Sony Pictures movie is being offered through a dedicated website – seetheinterview.com – as well as via Google and Microsoft but is only available in the US.

Sony had previously pulled the film, whose plot centers on a plan to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The cancellation had been criticized by President Barack Obama.

Since then, several hundred independent cinemas across the US have come forward offering to show the title.

The digital deal means the film is available through Google services YouTube and Play, and Microsoft’s Xbox Video platform.

The film costs $5.99 to rent, or $14.99 to buy, Sony said.The Interview released online

“It has always been Sony’s intention to have a national platform on which to release this film,” said Michael Lynton, chairman and chie executive of Sony Entertainment, in a statement.

A Sony spokesman said the release was US-only “at this point”.

Shortly after going live, the seetheinterview.com website was rendered inaccessible, most likely due to heavy traffic.

Sony Pictures had suffered an unprecedented hacking attack at the hands of a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace.

Last week, the FBI said its analysis pointed the finger at North Korea. However, many cybersecurity experts have come forward to dispute this assertion.

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North Korea satire The Interview will be screened by a limited number of movie theaters on Christmas Day, Sony Pictures Entertainment has announced.

The move comes just a week after Sony cancelled its release after suffering a devastating cyber attack.

Sony Chairman Michael Lynton said he was “excited” that The Interview, about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, would now be seen.

Two movie theaters in Atlanta and Austin have already revealed screenings.

They said via social media that Sony Pictures had authorized them to show the film, which has caused escalating tension between the US and North Korea.

The US has blamed North Korea for the Sony hack, which has led to sensitive data and unreleased film material being leaked.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

In the wake of threats against cinema chains that had planned to screen The Interview, Sony announced that the film’s release would be pulled completely.

Major movie chains in the US are thought unlikely to take part in the release at this stage.

Michael Lynton said: “We are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theatres so this movie can reach the largest possible audience.”

He also said he “hoped it would be the first step of the film’s release”.

Sony has yet to reveal further details of its release plans, but there is also speculation that video on-demand (VOD) will be offered as part of the package.

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Part of North Korea’s internet services have been restored after an almost unprecedented outage, amid a cyber security row with the US.

Though there has been no comment from the authorities in Pyongyang, US experts reported the restoration.

Some analysts say North Korea’s web access was cut entirely for a time.

Washington said it would launch a proportional response to a cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, which made The Interview comedy about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Officials would not comment on any US involvement in the current outages.

Meanwhile, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations has called for all sides to avoid an escalation of tension on the Korean Peninsula after the UN Security Council put the North’s human rights record on its agenda.North Korea internet down

Internet services were partially restored after nine hours and 31 minutes of disruption, cyber security company Dyn Research says.

The website for the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and Rodong Sinmun newspaper were back online on December 23.

However, the recovery looked to be partial and potentially unstable with other websites still inaccessible.

Analysts had said technical problems or a cyber-attack could be to blame.

Doug Madory of Dyn Research said they had seen a progressive degradation of North Korea’s connectivity to the outside world until the point at which they were totally offline.

Arbor Networks, an internet technology service, said it had detected denial-of-service attacks against North Korea’s infrastructure beginning on December 20.

Only a small proportion of people have access to the internet in North Korea, one of the world’s most secretive countries.

North Korea’s internet is handled by state-run company Star Joint Ventures, which in turn is routed through Chinese telecommunications firm China Unicom.

Last week, the US government said an FBI investigation had shown that North Korea was behind a hacking attack on Sony, which led to unreleased films and private emails being leaked online. North Korea denied being responsible.

The internet disruption came as the UN Security Council discussed North Korea’s human rights for the first time, despite opposition from China and Russia.

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In a fiery statement, North Korea has threatened unspecified attacks on the US in an escalation of a war of words following the Sony Pictures Entertainment cyber-attacks.

North Korea warned of strikes against the White House, Pentagon and “the whole US mainland”.

The communist country denies US claims it is behind cyber-attacks linked to The Interview movie that features the fictional killing of its leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korea has a long history of issuing threats against the US.

The latest statement comes days after the US formally accused North Korea of orchestrating a massive cyber attack on Sony Pictures.

“The army and people of the DPRK [North Korea] are fully ready to stand in confrontation with the US in all war spaces including cyber warfare space,” a long statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency said.

“Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole US mainland, the cesspool of terrorism, by far surpassing the ‘symmetric counteraction’ declared by Obama.”

It also accuses President Barack Obama of “recklessly making the rumor” that North Korea was behind the Sony attack.The Interview North Korea Sony attack

The statement also said it “estimates highly the righteous action” taken by the hackers of Sony, although it is “not aware of where they are”.

The hack resulted in unreleased films and the script for the next James Bond film being leaked online.

Details of Sony finances and private emails between producers and Hollywood figures were also released.

The eventual fallout from the attack saw Sony cancel the Christmas release of The Interview, a comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

That decision followed threats made by a group that hacked into Sony’s servers and leaked sensitive information and emails.

North Korea has denied being behind the attacks, and offered to hold a joint inquiry with the US.

The US turned down the offer, and President Barack Obama said it was considering putting North Korea back on its list of terrorism sponsors, a move that further angered Pyongyang.

North Korea had been on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism for two decades until the White House removed it in 2008, as part of now-stalled negotiations relating to Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

In an interview with CNN on December 21, Barack Obama promised to respond “proportionately” to the cyber-attack.

“I’ll wait to review what the findings are,” he said, adding that he did not think the attack “was an act of war”.

The US has reportedly also asked China to curb cyber-attacks by North Korea.

China is North Korea’s close ally and is seen as the nation with the most influence over Pyongyang.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a telephone conversation with his US counterpart John Kerry on December 21 in which they discussed the Sony row.

Wang Yi said China was “against all forms of cyber-attacks and cyber-terrorism” but did not refer directly to North Korea.

In a statement posted on China’s foreign ministry’s website on December 22, Wang Yi said that China “opposes any country or person using infrastructure from another country to launch a cyber attack on a third-party country”.

At a later news conference, a foreign ministry spokesman said China wanted to “engage in constructive co-operation with the international community in cyber security on the basis of mutual respect and mutual trust”.

Asked to respond to claims that North Korea was using Chinese facilities for cyber-attacks, the spokesman added: “I think to arrive at any conclusion, sufficient facts and evidence are needed. China will handle the case on the basis of facts, international laws and Chinese laws.”

Correspondents say the issue of hacking is a sensitive one in China-US relations, with the two sides frequently trading accusations of cyber-espionage.

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The US is considering putting North Korea back on its list of terrorism sponsors after the hacking of Sony Pictures, President Barack Obama has announced.

A decision would be taken after a review, Barack Obama said, calling the attack an act of cyber-vandalism, not of war.

North Korea denies the attack over The Interview movie, which depicts the fictional killing of its leader Kim Jong-un.

Sony canceled The Interview Christmas Day release after threats to cinemas. It is considering “a different platform”.

In a CNN interview, Barack Obama described the hacking as a “very costly, very expensive” example of cyber-vandalism.

He said US officials would examine all the evidence to determine whether North Korea should be put back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.The Interview North Korea movie

“I’ll wait to review what the finding are,” Barack Obama said, adding that he did not think the attack “was an act of war”.

North Korea had been on the US list for two decades until the White House removed it in 2008, after Pyongyang agreed to full verification of its nuclear sites.

On December 20, the US also asked China to curb North Korea’s cyber-attacks.

So far there has been no response from Beijing – North Korea’s main ally. North Korea’s communications run through China.

The US National Security spokesman Mark Stroh said: “We are confident the North Korean government is responsible for this destructive attack.”

“If the North Korean government wants to help, they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused,” he said.

The Interview features James Franco and Seth Rogen as two journalists who are granted an audience with Kim Jong-un. The CIA then enlists the pair to assassinate him.

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The US insists to reject North Korea’s claim that it was not responsible for Sony Pictures cyber-attack.

North Korea strongly denies carrying out the attack and invited the US to take part in a joint investigation.

A senior US security official said North Korea should instead “admit culpability and compensate Sony”.

North Korea strongly objects to Sony Pictures’ satirical film, The Interview, which portrays the fictional killing of Kim Jong-Un.

After the attack and threats, Sony cancelled the Christmas Day release of The Interview.

Responding to anonymous threats against cinemas, Sony Pictures Entertainment said it was considering releasing it “on a different platform”.The Interview Sony attack

The FBI said on December 19 that North Korea had carried out last month’s cyber-attack, in which script details and private emails were leaked.

The US defended its findings on December 20, with US National Security spokesman Mark Stroh saying: “We are confident the North Korean government is responsible for this destructive attack.”

“If the North Korean government wants to help, they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused,” he said.

On December 20, the North Korean foreign ministry said: “As the United States is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation with it into this incident.”

“We have means to prove that this incident has nothing to do with us.”

The statement said there would be “grave consequences” if the Americans rejected their inquiry proposal.

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Sony Pictures Entertainment is looking at different channels to release The Interview after scrapping its opening following a cyber-attack blamed on North Korea.

The studio said it had only canceled the film’s Christmas Day release after cinemas pulled out.

Sony said it was considering releasing it “on a different platform”.

President Barack Obama called the cancelation “a mistake”.

North Korea denied involvement and has now urged a joint inquiry with the US.

The FBI said on December 19 that the Pyongyang government was responsible.

The Interview depicts the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Responding to the president’s comments, Sony Pictures chief executive and chairman Michael Lynton said the studio had not made an error in canceling the release.The Interview North Korea

“We have not given in, we have persevered,” he told CNN.

A Sony statement said the decision had been based on “the majority of the nation’s theatre owners choosing not to screen the film”.

“Without theatres, we could not release it in the theatres on Christmas Day. We had no choice,” the statement added.

“It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.”

Script details, salary data and private email correspondence were leaked in the wake of November’s huge cyber attack.

Hackers then issued a warning referring to the 9/11 terror attacks, saying “the world will be full of fear” if The Interview was screened.

North Korea earlier this month denied allegations that it was responsible for the hack. An article in the state-run KCNA news agency, quoting the country’s top military body, called the suggestions “wild rumor”.

The Interview features James Franco and Seth Rogen as two journalists who are granted an audience with Kim Jong-un.

The CIA then enlists the pair to assassinate him.

The Interview‘s canceled release drew criticism in Hollywood, with some calling it an attack on the freedom of expression.

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North Korea wants to hold a joint inquiry with the US into a cyber-attack on Sony Pictures after it strongly denied US claims that it is behind it.

The North Korean foreign ministry accused the US government of “spreading groundless allegations” and said a probe would refute the allegations.

The attack and subsequent threats against cinemas led Sony to cancel the release of The Interview, a satire including the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The film had been due to open on Christmas Day.

However, Sony Pictures said it was considering releasing it “on a different platform”.

The FBI said on December 19 that the Pyongyang government was responsible.

On December 20, the North Korean foreign ministry said: “As the United States is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation with it into this incident.”North Korea Sony attack

“Without resorting to such tortures as were used by the US CIA, we have means to prove that this incident has nothing to do with us.”

Yesterday, President Barack Obama criticized the film’s cancelation, saying he wished Sony executives had spoken to him before cancelling the release.

“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship,” he said, vowing to “respond” to the cyber-attack in a “manner that we choose”.

Responding to the president’s comments, Sony Pictures chief executive and chairman Michael Lynton said the studio had not made an error in canceling the release.

“We have not given in, we have persevered,” he told CNN.

A Sony statement said the decision had been based on “the majority of the nation’s theatre owners choosing not to screen the film”.

“Without theatres, we could not release it in the theatres on Christmas Day. We had no choice,” the statement added.

“It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.”

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The cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment that forced the cancellation of The Interview movie release is being seen as a serious national security matter, the White House says.

A White House spokesman said the US believed the hacking was the work of a “sophisticated actor” – but refused to confirm if North Korea was responsible.

Sony Pictures withdrew The Interview, a new comedy film about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, after threats from hackers.

Hackers have already released sensitive information stored on Sony computers.

They later issued a warning to members of the public planning to see The Interview.

Referring to the 9/11 terror attacks, they said “the world will be full of fear” if the film was screened.Sony Pictures hack attack seen as US security issue

Many cinemas scrapped plans to show the film, and Sony then cancelled the release of the film altogether – moves criticized in Hollywood as an attack on the freedom of expression.

At a White House briefing on December 18, spokesman Josh Earnest said US officials had held daily discussions about the Sony cyber attack and were considering an “appropriate response”.

However, he refused to comment on who was responsible, saying he did not wish to pre-empt an investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI.

The Interview, made by Sony Pictures, features James Franco and Seth Rogen as two journalists who are granted an audience with Kim Jong-un.

The CIA then enlists the pair to assassinate him.

The Interview was due to have been released over Christmas.

In November, a cyber attack crippled computers at Sony and led to upcoming films and workers’ personal data being leaked online.

The hackers also released salary details and social security numbers for thousands of Sony employees – including celebrities.

Earlier this month, North Korea denied hacking into Sony’s computers – but praised the attack itself as a “righteous deed”.

An article on North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency, quoting the country’s top military body, said suggestions that Pyongyang was behind the attack were “wild rumor”.

However, it warned the US that “there are a great number of supporters and sympathizers” of North Korea “all over the world” who may have carried out the attack.

In the article, Sony Pictures was accused of “abetting a terrorist act” and “hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership” of North Korea by producing the movie.

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Sony Pictures Entertainment has confirmed it has no plans to release The Interview movie internationally, in any form, following threats from hackers.

Cinemas in the US canceled screenings of the film, about a plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un prompting Sony to shelve it altogether.

There has been dismay in Hollywood, with Ben Stiller calling the move “a threat to freedom of expression”.

Hackers had issued a warming to cinema-goers who planned to watch the movie.

President Barack Obama recommended that “people go to the movies”, but stressed that the hack was “very serious”.

Speaking to ABC, the president added: “We’ll be vigilant – if we see something that we think is serious and credible, then we’ll alert the public.”

Several other famous names have criticized the decision to shelve the movie, accusing the studio of caving in to the hackers’ threats.

On December 17, it emerged that Steve Carell’s planned film project, a thriller called Pyongyang about a Westerner working in North Korea, was scrapped ahead of Sony’s announcement.

Sony said it was “deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie”.

“We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theatre-goers,” the studio said.The Interview release date canceled

It added: “We stand by our film-makers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

The cancellation comes after hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace released emails and data stolen from Sony in late November.

In a later warning to cinemas screening The Interview, they referred to the 9/11 attacks, claiming “the world will be full of fear”.

“Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time,” the hacker group wrote, in a message on December 16.

“Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

Sony had given theaters in the US and Canada the option to bow out of showing The Interview in the wake of the threats.

Regal Cinemas, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark Theatres – the top three theatre chains in North America – subsequently announced they were postponing screenings, and Canada’s biggest theatre firms also pulled out, leaving Sony seemingly no choice but to postpone the film.

However, the Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Texas has decided to replace The Interview with a screening of Team America, a film featuring a marionette of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the father of Kim Jong-un.

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The NYC premiere of The Interview movie, a comedy about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has been cancelled amid threats from hackers.

A spokesman for the cinema chain due to host the screening said it had been shelved.

Hackers targeting Sony Pictures had threatened to attack US cinemas showing the studio’s film.

They belong to the same group which has released emails and data stolen from Sony.

Calling themselves Guardians of Peace, the hackers mentioned the 9/11 attacks in a recent warning, claiming “the world will be full of fear”.

“Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time,” the hacker group wrote in a message on .The Interview NYC premiere canceled

“If your house is nearby, you’d better leave,” they add.

“Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

A spokesman for Landmark, the cinema chain due to host the New York premiere, confirmed the showing had been cancelled but gave no reason, Reuters news agency reported.

Executives from Sony had previously said they would not object if cinemas chose not to show The Interview.

Carmike Cinemas, which operates 278 venues across the US, has cancelled planned screenings, according to several news outlets.

The company has not yet commented publicly on the reports.

Guardians of Peace have also released a new trove of Sony company data, calling it a “Christmas gift”.

A cache of company emails, social security numbers and salary details had already been released.

On December 16, two former Sony Pictures employees sued the California company for not providing adequate security to prevent the computer breach.

The studio earlier attempted to limit the damage by contacting some news outlets to block the publication of the emails.

North Korea has denied involvement in the attack, but has described it as a “righteous deed” that may have been carried out by its “supporters and sympathizers”.

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In an attempt to limit the damage caused by the hacking of its internal computer system last month, Sony Pictures’ legal team has reportedly contacted some news outlets.

The studio, its letter informed them, “does not consent to your possession… dissemination, publication… or making any use of the stolen information”.

Script details, salary data and private email correspondence have been leaked in the wake of the huge cyber attack.

A group calling itself Guardians of Peace has claimed responsibility.

It is believed that the attack was triggered by Sony’s new film The Interview, a comedy that features a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.Sony Pictures hack attack

North Korea has denied being involved in the attack, but has described it as a “righteous deed” that may have been carried out by its “supporters and sympathizers”.

Variety, the New York Times and the Hollywood Reporter are among the publications understood to have been contacted by Sony’s legal team.

A New York Times spokeswoman said its coverage would “take into account both the significance of the news and the questions of how the information emerged”.

Some of the emails released have contained embarrassing exchanges about some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, among them Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The producers of the new James Bond film Spectre have also confirmed that an early version of its script was stolen and “illegally made public by hackers”.

George Clooney is the latest movie star to have had his personal emails disseminated, revealing he was personally stung by the critical reaction to his recent film The Monuments Men.

The revelation that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were paid less than their male co-stars in American Hustle has also been widely reported.

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is among those to have criticized the media’s apparent complicity with the hackers, accusing it of being “morally treasonous”.

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