The US will impose sanctions on North Korea in response to the Sony hack.
The sanctions, imposed by an executive order signed by President Obama, will apparently target North Korean officials. The sanctions are in response to the December hack on Sony that the US blamed on North Korea.
The White House Press Office has released the following statement:
Today, the President issued an Executive Order (E.O.) authorizing additional sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This E.O. is a response to the Government of North Korea’s ongoing provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The E.O. authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on individuals and entities associated with the Government of North Korea. We take seriously North Korea’s attack that aimed to create destructive financial effects on a U.S. company and to threaten artists and other individuals with the goal of restricting their right to free expression.
As the President has said, our response to North Korea’s attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment will be proportional, and will take place at a time and in a manner of our choosing. Today’s actions are the first aspect of our response.
The announcement of imposing sanctions comes two weeks after the FBI officially blamed North Korea for the Sony hack on Dec. 19 based on a technical analysis of the attack.
However, cyber security experts are divided as to whether or not North Korea was truly behind the attacks with some of the most recent evidence pointing towards a disgruntled former Sony employee possibly having played a role in the hack.
The Sony hack was unprecedented in both size and scope. Hackers downed Sony’s system and released upwards of 11 terabytes of internal company data. The hacking group Guardians of Peace, that claimed to have carried out the Sony attack, also threatened to carry out terrorist attacks on cinemas that screened Sony’s film “The Interview.”
In addition to sanctions, the US could carry out further retaliatory measures against North Korea including engaging in counterhacks or listing listing North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
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