Sony Pictures Hacked Ahead of Kim Jong-un Film Launch

      December 01, 2014 09:26

      A cyber attack on Nov. 24 paralyzed the computer system of Sony Pictures, the studio behind a Hollywood comedy about the attempted assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security are looking into the possibility that North Korean hackers were behind the attack, which it took place some three weeks ahead of the release of "The Interview," U.S. website Re/code reported Saturday.

      After the trailer was released in June, the North Korean Foreign Ministry denounced the comedy as an "outright act of terrorism and an act of war."

      "If the U.S. administration connives at and patronizes the screening of the film, it invites strong and merciless countermeasures," it said.

      The attackers left behind an image of a red skeleton and signed themselves "GOP," apparently short for Guardians of Peace. They threatened to release classified Sony data, the New York Times reported on Nov. 25.

      The action comedy is about a talk show host and a program director landing an interview with Kim and being instructed by the Central Intelligent Agency to assassinate him.

      The US$30 million film stars James Franco and Seth Rogen and is slated for release in the U.S. and Canada on Christmas Day and in 63 other countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America next year.

      It will not be released in South Korea for fear of damaging sensitive inter-Korean relations, Sony Pictures Korea said.

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