December 4, 2014 / 3:03 PM / in 3 years

North Korea denies involvement in Sony cyber attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A North Korean diplomat denied Pyongyang was behind a crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures, which is about to release a comic movie about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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

The New York-based diplomat, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Voice of America broadcast network on Wednesday that linking North Korea to the hacking of Sony Pictures’ computers was ”another fabrication targeting the country.

“My country publicly declared that it would follow international norms banning hacking and piracy,” the diplomat said.

The denial from North Korea regarding the Sony hacking came despite sources telling Reuters that cyber investigators had found connections to North Korea in the form of hacking tools similar to those used by that country in previous attacks on South Korea.

On Christmas Day, Sony Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp (6758.T), will release “The Interview” starring James Franco and Seth Rogen as American journalists who are recruited by the CIA to kill Kim after the authoritarian leader grants them an interview.

In June, the Pyongyang government denounced the film as “undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an act of war” in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Sony has struggled to get all of its systems back up since its network was breached on Nov. 24. Studio executives told staff in a memo on Tuesday that they still did not know the “full scope of information that the hackers might have or release.”

Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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