According to a statement issued by the FBI on December 19, which was then echoed by President Obama during his year-end press conference, "the North Korean government is responsible" for hacking Sony's servers, leaking sensitive company data online, threatening movie theaters that choose to exhibit the satire The Interview, and ultimately succeeding in getting the Kim Jong-un assassination comedy's release pulled. The FBI is firmly convinced the North Korean government is solely to blame.
"Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed. For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks."Meanwhile, North Korea has maintained their stance that they weren't involved in the crippling cyber-attack, and have proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. authorities in finding the culprits, warning of "grave consequences" if America continues to blame them for the hacking.
On Saturday afternoon, Guardians of Peace, the hacking group that's so far claimed responsibility for wreaking havoc on Sony, posted a message online mocking the FBI's investigation.
According to The Guardian, the email was sardonic and cryptic.
"The result of investigation by FBI is so excellent that you might have seen what we were doing with your own eyes.Then, they included a link to the following video titled "you are an idiot!"— essentially Rickrolling the FBI. The video opens with some words in Japanese, before cutting to a series of gyrating animated bodies shrieking, "You are an idiot!"
We congratulate you [sic] success.
You will find the gift for FBI at the following address."
President Obama, meanwhile, seems quite adamant in believing the narrative that North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un, were so offended by the satire The Interview, a Seth Rogen and James Franco flick which portrays the Dear Leader being assassinated, that they launched a cyber-attack on Sony as retribution, and threatened a "proportional" response by the U.S. President Obama had strong words for North Korea.
"The FBI announced today and we can confirm that North Korea engaged in this attack on Friday. I think it says something interesting about North Korea that they decided to have the state mount an all-out assault on a movie studio because of a satirical movie starring Seth Rogen and James Flacco [Franco]. I love Seth and I love James, but the notion that that was a threat to them I think gives you some sense of the kind of regime we're talking about here. They caused a lot of damage, and we will respond. We will respond proportionally, and we'll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose. It's not something that I will announce here today at a press conference."