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Did Seth Rogen and James Franco’s Upcoming Comedy Cause North Korea To Cyber Attack Sony?

December 1, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Did Seth Rogen and James Franco’s Upcoming Comedy Cause North Korea To Cyber Attack Sony? Image ocurtesy of thewhig.com

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Did an upcoming movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco about North Korea have been the reason for last week’s devastating computer attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment?

Image courtesy of blogs.indiewire.com

Image courtesy of blogs.indiewire.com

On Sunday, Sony internet technicians were still dealing with the catastrophic damage caused  by a hacker attack last week that left the computer, email and phone systems at the TV and movie studio critically damaged.

Sony has hired FireEye Inc’s Mandiant forensics unit to fix the damage done by the Guardians of Peace, which claimed responsibility for the attack and released sensitive company information.

However, Sony has not revealed who is responsible for the hack, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation.

One of the chief suspects investigators are looking at is the nation of North Korea, or an entity operating on its behalf. Some are saying the communist country launched the cyber attack in retribution for “The Interview,” according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The upcoming comedy stars Rogen and Franco as journalists who land an interview with reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, and are then asked by the CIA to assassinate him.

The studio has gone dark on the situation, however North Korean officials have not hidden their opposition to the film, which is to open in the U.S. on Dec. 25.

In a letter written to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, North Korea’s U.N. Ambassador Ja Song Nam accused the United States of sponsoring terrorism and committing an act of war by allowing the production and distribution of “The Interview.”

“To allow the production and distribution of such a film on the assassination of an incumbent head of a sovereign state should be regarded as the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war,” Ja wrote in June. In addition, KCNA, the official news agency in North Korea, quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman in June as promising a “merciless countermeasure” if the film is released.

The attack by the “Guardians of Peace” — or #GOP — has been seen as an act of vengeance within the PC world.

Many computer screens at Sony displayed an image of the heads of studio CEO Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal on a platter with the scales of justice.

Hacked Twitter files displayed similar images of Lynton and Pascal.

But the reasons for of the attack have not been determined because no specific demands were made following the threat to “release damaging information” by a certain time, according to one Sony insider.

At least five new movies from Sony Pictures were posted to copyright-infringing file-sharing hubs online soon after the attack.

The Brad Pitt World War II movie “Fury”and four upcoming movies including “Annie” — a high-profile musical set for a Dec. 19 opening — are among the pirated films now available.

Investigators are looking into the possibility that disgruntled ex-employees could have been responsible. Sony Pictures has laid off hundreds of people this year under pressure to cut costs and streamline the organization.

In an email responding to inquiries from The Verge, a person identified as one of the hackers wrote, “We Want equality [sic]. Sony doesn’t. It’s an upward battle.” And in a follow-up email, a hacker who is identified as “lena” wrote: “Sony doesn’t lock their doors, physically, so we worked with other staff with similar interests to get in… I’m sorry I can’t say more, safety for our team is important [sic].”

North Korea possibly being responsible was the trending topic on Twitter and other social media outlets.

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