The FBI has come to the conclusion North Korea is indeed responsible for the cyber attack that has brought Sony Pictures to its knees.
The agency provided an update on its ongoing investigation on Friday, claiming it now had enough evidence to officially pin the attack on the North Koreans.
In a press release the FBI said it was “deeply concerned” having uncovered code, algorithms and data deletion methods specific to malware known to be created by those operating within the rogue stage.
It claims to have discovered IP addresses used in previous attacks linked to North Korea, while the tools used to hit Sony Pictures are similar to those used to hack South Korean banks and media outlets in March 2013.
“As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions.”
The release continued: “We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there.
“Further, North Korea’s attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States. Though the FBI has seen a wide variety and increasing number of cyber intrusions, the destructive nature of this attack, coupled with its coercive nature, sets it apart.
“North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves. Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behaviour. The FBI takes seriously any attempt—whether through cyber-enabled means, threats of violence, or otherwise—to undermine the economic and social prosperity of our citizens.”
On Wednesday Sony pulled The Interview movie from its planned Christmas Day release, following threats of violence from parties claiming to represent the Guardians of Peace hacking group.
The film, which centres around a fictional attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, prompted the hackers into action at the end of November.
Sony Pictures has suffered a crippling fall out ever since, with sensitive information released by the hackers at regular intervals.