The FBI is standing by its conclusion that the North Korean government is responsible for the Sony hack attack, despite ongoing contradictory claims from private security firms.
“The FBI has concluded the Government of North Korea is responsible for the theft and destruction of data on the network of Sony Pictures Entertainment,” the FBI reiterated in a new statement, echoing earlier findings. “Attribution to North Korea is based on intelligence from the FBI, the U.S. intelligence community, DHS, foreign partners and the private sector.”
On Monday, security firm Norse Corp alleged that in an independent investigation of the hack, it has identified six individuals involved, including one former Sony employee based in America as well as participants from Canada, Thailand and Singapore.
However, the FBI is doubling down on North Korea being the culprit, though with the caveat that the investigation is still ongoing.
“There is no credible information to indicate that any other individual is responsible for this cyber incident,” they continued. “The FBI is committed to identifying and pursuing those responsible for this act and bringing them to justice. While it remains an ongoing investigation, no further information can be provided at this time.”
After hackers threatened physical violence on movie theaters showing the film, Sony and the country’s top theater chains pulled it from release.
However, Sony made the R-rated comedy available online Wednesday to rent on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and its own dedicated website at a rental price of $5.99. The film was also made available for purchase for $14.99. The film quickly became the year’s top-selling video on demand title on both Google Play and YouTube.
Sony also released the film on Christmas Day in 331 independent theaters, marking the first time a major studio had opened a movie in theaters and offered it online at the same time. “The Interview” made $15 million online and $2.8 million at the box office, the studio announced Sunday.
In further fallout from the hacking, however, Sony is facing multiple class-action lawsuits from former employees who allege the studio failed to protect their personal information from being vulnerable to such an attack.