North Korea has officially rebuffed claims that it hacked into Sony Entertainment Pictures in retaliation for a forthcoming film that depicts the country in an unfavourable light.
The hack exposed the personal details of some 47,000 people including celebrities including Sylvester Stallone and led to the early release of a number of films with an anonymous source telling Voice of America the reports are false.
"My country publicly declared that it would follow international norms banning hacking and piracy,” the anonymous source said, adding that the report linking North Korea is “another fabrication targeting the country”.
Personal data that was leaked includes salaries and bonuses, performance reviews, passport and visa information, criminal background checks, and details on employee medical conditions.
North Korea has been linked to the leak ever since Sony announced the release of The Interview, which features a plot to assassinate the North Korean leader, who looks remarkably similar to Kim Jong-un.
Speculation that the secretive state was behind the Sony Pictures breach gained momentum after an unofficial spokesperson told The Telegraph that the film illustrated the "desperation of the US government and American society”. To add to this there were further reports that Korean language was found within the malware used and in addition to the 47,000 personal records, four unreleased Sony Pictures films were posted online.
The only responsibility for the attack so far has been taken by a group called Guardians of Peace or #GOP who posted a page online claiming to have carried it out and there is no clue as to the group’s motive. The FBI is looking into the attack with FireEye’s Mandiant department and has warned of the potential damage this malware can cause.
"The overwriting of the data files will make it extremely difficult and costly, if not impossible, to recover the data using standard forensic methods," said an FBI report, according to Computer Weekly.
Image Credit: Flickr (Roman Harak)