Cementing The Interview’s transformation from a James Franco/Seth Rogen comedy into a worldwide news story, the FBI has released a statement saying it has evidence that North Korea orchestrated the Sony hack that led to the studio pulling the film.
“As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. Government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions,” the statement reads. “Further, North Korea’s attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States. Though the FBI has seen a wide variety and increasing number of cyber intrusions, the destructive nature of this attack, coupled with its coercive nature, sets it apart. North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves. Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior.”
President Obama is expected to address the FBI’s statement in a press conference at 12:30 PM CT. The FBI’s full statement, which includes information on how it concluded that North Korea was involved with the attacks, can be read on its website. A variety of conspiracy theories and uninformed opinions on the situation can be read at the social media outlet of your choice.
UPDATED: Asked about the Sony hack at his annual year-end press conference, President Obama said, “Yes, I think they made a mistake,” referring to Sony’s decision to pull The Interview. He went on to say, “We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship in the United States,” and said that he wished Sony executives had spoken to him before making their decision.
Obama added that the U.S. will respond to the attack, but “proportionally, in a place and a time we choose.” He also said that there is no evidence that North Korea was working with China or any other country, and “it says a lot” about North Korea that the country mobilized a cyberattack based on a comedy film. “I love Seth and I love James, but the notion that it was a threat to them gives you some sense of the kind of regime we’re talking about here,” he said.