The anonymous hackers behind the Sony scandal that rocked Hollywood are anonymous no more. On Friday, the FBI confirmed that the North Korean government is to blame for the cyber attack that led to the studio's decision to cancel the theatrical release of The Interview.
"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," the FBI said in a statement. "Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior."
In what is suddenly playing out like a real life episode of Homeland, the FBI discovered malware and encrypted algorithms that were directly linked to North Korea.
The country was long believed to be the source of the attack, which began with the leak of sensitive emails between Hollywood power players, but escalated to something much darker after threats of violence were made towards anyone who screened the controversial film about the assassination attempt of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The United States government has not yet revealed plans for retaliation, however they did say that identifying the culprits "is only the first step."
"We will continue to do our part to protect and defend our nation from the asymmetric threats posed through cyberspace," said John Carlin, the assistant attorney general for national security.
President Obama, meanwhile, condemned Sony for their decision to pull the film. "I think they made a mistake," he said Friday in a press conference. "We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States." Obama also added that he wished the studio had spoken with him before making their decision.
This all comes moments after the hackers praised Sony for not releasing The Interview and confirmed that for now, the attack will be put on hold.
While we all catch our breaths from today's startling developments, let's also note that this drama is far from over. (Variety)