Tags: North Korea | War on Terrorism | sony | email | hack | list

US May Put North Korea Back on Terror List After Sony Hack

By    |   Friday, 19 December 2014 05:45 PM

The U.S. government is considering placing North Korea back on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism as a result of a computer hacking attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) that caused the studio to cancel the release of a $44 million film.

The movie, "The Interview," is a dark comedy about the CIA asking two journalists to assassinate Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, and federal officials believe the hacking attack, and threats against theaters which run the movie, originated there.

The Wall Street Journal today noted that the plan, which would put North Korea back on the list and subject the country to severe economic reprisals for the hack-attack, is under serious consideration, quoting a "senior Obama administration official."

Despite North Korean denials of its involvement, the FBI specifically has named North Korea as the source of the hacking and said in a statement, "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."

The FBI noted that technical analysis of the hacking malware and "several internet protocol [IP] addresses associated with known North Korean infrastructure communicated with IP addresses that were hard-coded into the data deletion malware used in this attack" provided convincing evidence that North Korea was involved.

North Korea was on the State Department list as a state sponsor of terror for almost 20 years until President George W. Bush removed it in 2008 in order to facilitate negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program, Business Insider notes.

Should North Korea be placed back on the list, it would join four other countries currently there — Cuba, Sudan, Iran and Syria — and penalties would "include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions."

"Designation under the above-referenced authorities also implicates other sanctions laws that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors," a State Department document states.

President Barack Obama said he believed SPE "made a mistake" in deciding to not release the film, and added that North Korea "caused a lot of damage and we will respond. We will respond proportionately and we will respond in a place and time and manner we choose," The Wall Street Journal reports.

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., told Fox News, "If we can conclude it was North Korea, we need to put them back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. We need to put all the economic sanctions back in place.

"If you treat this simply as an inconvenience, other countries will conclude that they can attack and get away with it."

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The U.S. government is considering placing North Korea back on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism as a result of a computer hacking attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) that caused the studio to cancel the release of a $44 million film.
sony, email, hack, list
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2014-45-19
Friday, 19 December 2014 05:45 PM
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