December 19, 2014
China may have helped North Korea carry out the hacking attack on Sony Pictures, a US official has told Reuters.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the conclusion of the US investigation was to be announced later by federal authorities.
The Chinese embassy in Washington later stated that China does not support “cyber illegalities”.
There were also reports on Friday that Iran and Russia may have also helped the North Korean hackers.
The software used in the hacking was at a level of sophistication not previously seen in past North Korean attacks, a US intelligence source told Fox News, adding that China, Iran and Russia had all used the technology previously.
“It’s very wise that you have made a decision to cancel the release of ‘The Interview,'” the message said, according to CNN. “We ensure the security of your data unless you make additional trouble.”
Meanwhile, George Clooney started a petition calling for The Interview to be released immediately online, saying “we cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all —-ing people”.
The Hollywood star said it was “insane” that North Korea has been allowed to “dictate content”.
“We should be in the position right now of going on offence with this,” Clooney told the Deadline on Thursday.
“I just talked to Amy (Pascal, Sony Pictures co-chair) an hour ago. She wants to put that movie out. What do I do? My partner Grant Heslov and I had the conversation with her this morning. … Stick it online. Do whatever you can to get this movie out. Not because everybody has to see the movie, but because I’m not going to be told we can’t see the movie. That’s the most important part. We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all —-ing people.”
Clooney revealed that before Sony cancelled the release of the film, he drew up a petition backing the studio and called on Hollywood as a whole to take a stand against North Korea. He sent it to “the heads of every place” but everyone was too scared to sign it. Clooney said: “Nobody signed the letter. Nobody stood up.”
The Interview stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists tasked by the CIA with killing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who is shown dying in a fiery explosion.
Sony Pictures was hacked in November, with sensitive information being released since then. The hack was widely believed to be linked to North Korea.
Sony’s decision on Wednesday to cancel The Interview in the face of terrorist threats has outraged actors, filmmakers, politicians and pundits.
“The South Park guys did it,” Clooney added. “They blew up his father’s head. The truth of the matter is, of course you should be able to make any movie you want. And, you should take the ramifications for it. Meaning, people can boycott the movie and not go see your film. They can say they’ll never see a Sony movie again. That’s all fine. That’s the risk you take for the decision you make. But to say we’re going to make you pull it. We’re going to censor you. That’s a whole other game. That is playing in some serious waters and it’s a very dangerous pool.”
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