North Korea says its supporters may be behind Sony attack

Sun Dec 7, 2014 2:47pm EST
 
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By Kahyun Yang and Jim Finkle

SEOUL/BOSTON (Reuters) - The Pyongyang government's state-run media said the cyber attack on Sony's Hollywood studio may have been the work of pro-North Korean supporters in a report on Sunday that dismissed charges that the country itself was to blame as "wild rumor."

"The hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK in response to its appeal," the article by the KCNA news agency said, using the official DPRK acronym for North Korea.

The article, which represents the nation's most detailed response about the attack to date, denounced South Korea, accusing Seoul of "floating the false rumor that the North was involved in the hacking."

It also warned the United States that "there are a great number of supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK all over the world."

It said 'Guardians of Peace,' the hacking gang that has taken responsibility for the attack at the Sony Corp unit, was one such group. A North Korean diplomat has denied Pyongyang was behind the attack that was launched last month, though a U.S. national security source said it was a suspect.

Joseph DeTrani, a former senior U.S. intelligence official who has served as a special envoy in negotiations with Pyongyang, said that North Korea has historically been truthful when making statements about its involvement in attacks.

However, current leader Kim Jong Un has only been in power for about three years, which raises the possibility that the nation could have swayed from that policy, DeTrani said.

DeTrani said that he did not know if Pyongyang was responsible, but that it did have the ability to launch such an attack.   Continued...

 
An entrance gate to Sony Pictures Entertainment at the Sony Pictures lot is pictured in Culver City, California April 14, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser