The FBI said Friday in an official statement that "the North Korean government is responsible" for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and that the attack destroyed thousands of computers in the process.
"The FBI has determined that the intrusion into SPE’s network consisted of the deployment of destructive malware and the theft of proprietary information as well as employees’ personally identifiable information and confidential communications. The attacks also rendered thousands of SPE’s computers inoperable, forced SPE to take its entire computer network offline, and significantly disrupted the company’s business operations."
The FBI said its conclusion that North Korea was behind the hack is based, in part, on the following:
· Similarities in the data-deletion malware and other malware that the FBI knows North Korea previously developed. Specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks are among the details.
· Significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious activity the U.S. previously linked directly to North Korea. For example, the FBI discovered that several Internet protocol addresses associated with known North Korean infrastructure communicated with IP addresses that were hardcoded into the data deletion malware used in this attack.
· The tools used in the Sony attack have similarities to a cyber attack in March 2013 against South Korean banks and media outlets carried out by North Korea.
The FBI said 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 behavior."
North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations denied his country had anything to do with it.