USA announces hacking charges against North Korean

USA announces hacking charges against North Korean

USA announces hacking charges against North Korean

The North Koreans undertook the Sony hack, U.S. officials say, in retaliation for the Sony comedy film "The Interview", about a scheme to assassinate the North Korean leader.

The Department of Justice announced charges Thursday against a North Korean government-sponsored hacker over the 2014 Sony Pictures hack.

The Trump administration did impose other punitive measures on Park and his employer on Thursday: the Treasury Department says it has sanctioned him and Korea Expo Joint Venture.

Park operated with a team of North Korean government hackers mainly from Dalian, China, at a North Korean front company called Chosen Expo Joint Venture, a computer programming and information technology company that did work for clients around the world.

"The criminal conduct outlined in this case is intolerable", said Tracy Wilkison, the first assistant US attorney in Los Angeles.

The hack of Sony Pictures in November 2014 led to the release of thousands of internal emails, documents and other information such as salaries and unreleased movies.

Park is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, with a max sentence of 20 years in prison.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry said Friday that these actions show the United States' stance that. talking with North Korea and keeping pressure on the regime must go hand in hand to achieve complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

The attack took place before the release of the comedy film The Interview, which depicts a fictional Central Intelligence Agency plot to kill North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.

Cybersecurity experts have said portions of the WannaCry program used the same code as malware previously distributed by the hacker collective known as the Lazarus Group, which is believed to be responsible for the Sony hack.

Just this morning, Trump tweeted, "Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims 'unwavering faith in President Trump.' Thank you Chairman Kim".

"Because of the harmful nature of the attack on [Sony Pictures] in which vast amounts of data were overwritten and computers were rendered unrecoverable, a complete reconstruction of the subjects' activities during the period of the intrusion was not possible through a forensic analysis", the complaint said.

The attacks are alleged to have been carried out from North Korea, China and other countries.

North Korea has denied the allegations. In recent years the department has charged hackers from China, Iran and Russian Federation in hopes of publicly shaming other countries for sponsoring cyberattacks on US corporations. "We will get it done together!"

A lengthy 179-page affidavit [PDF] from the special agent in charge of the investigation gives an extensive rundown of how the attacks were tracking back to Hyok, his hacking group, and eventually the North Korean government.

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