Obama says cancellation of "The Interview" was a mistake

Following a series of threats from the hacking group, the company cancelled the movie release so as to prevent more leaks of confidential information and possible terrorist attack on American citizens.

President Barack Obama has finally commented on the Sony Pictures hack, which came as a result of the studio's latest production, The Interview, which was slated to be released this month.

Following a series of threats from the hacking group, the company cancelled the movie release so as to prevent more leaks of confidential information and possible terrorist attack on American citizens.

Addressing the issue during a press conference on Friday, December 19, 2014, the U.S president said: "I am sympathetic to the concerns that [Sony] faced. Having said all that, yes, they made a mistake. We cannot have a society where a dictator someplace else can start imposing censorship here in the United States. That's not who we are. That’s not what America is."

He continues: "I'm sympathetic that Sony as a private company was worried about liability, but I wish they'd spoken to me first. I would've told them do not get into a pattern in which you are intimidated by those kinds of criminal attacks

"We can't start changing our behaviours, any more then we'd stop going to football games because of the possibility of a terrorist attack."

According to Us Weekly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also confirmed on Friday that North Korea was behind the hack.

"As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions," the statement read.

The organization said it came to its conclusion based on three overarching factors, the first being that the FBI linked malware used in the security breach to the secluded state. "Technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed. For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks," the FBI wrote.

Second, the FBI saw that several IP addresses were directly linked to North Korea. "The FBI also observed significant overlap between the infrastructure used in this attack and other malicious cyber activity the U.S. government has previously linked directly to North Korea," the statement read. "For example, the FBI discovered that several Internet protocol (IP) addresses associated with known North Korean infrastructure communicated with IP addresses that were hardcoded into the data deletion malware used in this attack."

Finally, the FBI saw that the tools that were used in the Sony attack had similarities to the tools used in the March 2013 cyber attack against South Korea. "Separately, the tools used in the SPE attack have similarities to a cyber attack in March of last year against South Korean banks and media outlets, which was carried out by North Korea," the statement read.

Despite the FBI's conclusion, the North Korean government has denied any connection to the attacks.

"The U.S. should bear in mind that it will face serious consequences in case it rejects our proposal for joint investigation and presses for what it called countermeasures while finding fault with," the spokesman said in a statement on Saturday, December 20, 2014, via the Associated Press. "We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as the CIA does."

The admission was made one day after the FBI confirmed that North Korea was behind the November 24, 2014, attacks against Sony.


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