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FBI to Name North Korea as Culprit in Sony Hack Attack

The statement, which may expose a possible link to China, is expected to arrive on Friday before President Obama’s press conference at 1:30 p.m. ET

The United States government didn’t name North Korea as the culprit in the Sony hack attack on Thursday as CNN reported, but another source says federal authorities plan on doing so today.

TheWrap confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is expected to release a statement on the cyberattack before President Barack Obama’s press conference at 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

Reuters reports that a U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, claims a probe into the hack found there may be a Chinese link either through collaboration with Chinese actors, or by using Chinese servers to mask the hack.

A spokesperson for the country’s foreign ministry has already refuted the connection by saying, “The US should provide evidence to China.”

“We do not understand the full situation, but countries should work together to solve this problem,” foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a press conference on Friday. “If the US has more evidence concerning this incident, it should provide [that evidence] to China.”

The cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has steadily escalated since the hacker group, known as Guardians of Peace, first paralyzed operations a few days before Thanksgiving. On Tuesday, the group threatened 9/11-like violence against movie theaters exhibiting Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy “The Interview,” which depicts two bumbling journalists sent on a mission to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

As a result, major theater chains opted out of screening it, which inspired Sony to opt out of releasing it all together. The hackers aren’t satisfied, however, and issued a new demand to the studio on Friday.

“Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy,” an email read. “And we want everything related to the movie, including its trailers, as well as its full version down from any website hosting them immediately.”

Within the message was another threat to release “private and sensitive data,” which could extend the company’s publicity nightmare.