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U.S. intelligence agencies said they have concluded that the North Korean government was “centrally involved” in the attacks on Sony’s computers.
This conclusion was leaked to the media only hours after Sony, on Wednesday, cancelled the Christmas release of the comedy – the only known instance of a threat by a nation-state pre-empting the release of a movie.
The New York Times reports that senior administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the White House was still debating whether publicly and officially to accuse North Korea of the cyberattack.
The initial breach of Sony’s systems was an act of cyber theft, but Tuesday’s threat of 9/11-like attacks on moviegoers was an act of terrorism, so charging North Korea with responsibility for the hack would mean that that country was now being charged with being a terrorist entity.
According to HomeLand Security News Wire, there are other issues which the White House is considering. One is how much of the evidence implicating North Korea in the Sony hack should the United States reveal, because the more detailed the evidence released is, the easier it would be for the North Koreans to figure out how the United States gathered the evidence, and how much penetration the United States has gained into the reclusive country’s computer systems.