When employees walked into Sony Pictures last week they were greeted with the image posted above on their computer screens. The company had been hit by a major cyberattack in which not only were unreleased movies stolen, but top secret documents were believed to have been compromised as well. While there were reports that the hackers might have received help from inside, a possible link with North Korea was also being investigated. The investigation has revealed footprints of the Hermit Kingdom in this hack.
According to The Wall Street Journal researchers who have been called in to investigate this hack have found malicious code that is exactly the same as the code used in March 2013 when many South Korean banks and broadcasters were hit by cyberattacks widely believed to be the work of North Korea.
There’s ample reason to believe why North Korea would want to do something like this. Sony Pictures has a film due for release in the near future called The Interview. Its a comedy featuring James Franco and Seth Rogen, where the plot is to assassinate Kim Jong-un, the all powerful leader of North Korea.
The Hermit Kingdom has already registered strong protest against the film, and Sony has made some changes to the film as well, such as editing out a scene showing Kim Jong-un’s face melting off in slow motion.
Moreover emails sent to The Verge by members allegedly belonging to the group also seem to mirror statements from North Korea against Sony Pictures. While it can’t be said for sure at this point in time that there’s North Korean involvement this is certainly one of the most unusual attacks of this time that we’ve seen all year, and we’ve seen plenty this year.