Sony condemns "vicious and malicious" cyber attack on studio

Sony has condemned the "vicious and malicious" cyber attack it faced last year which led to it suspending the release of its movie, The Interview.

Sony CEO, Kazuo Hirai, in his speech at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, attacked the hackers who penetrated the company's internal network last year.

The Guardians of Peace hacker group attacked Sony in an attempt to stop the release of the firm's movie, The Interview.

Hirai also noted that he was proud of those who stood up against the "extortionist" tactics of the hackers.

"Both Sony, former employees and current employees were the victim of one of the most vicious and malicious cyber attacks in recent history," said Hirai in off-the-cuff remarks made just before the firm's press conference at CES 2015 began.

Speaking to the press, Hirai said it would be "remiss" of him if he did not talk about the events of the last few weeks.

The electronics company has suffered a series of revelations orchestrated by the Guardians of Peace which gained access to the firm's network and stole huge amounts of internal information.

This led to movies being pirated, personal information being shared and millions of private emails published.

The attacks were carried out to force Sony to halt the release of The Interview - a comedy about journalists recruited to assassinate North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.

The movie's subject matter led US authorities to blame North Korea for the cyber assault, but many security experts have expressed doubt about this theory.

Sony did withdraw the film before its planned release, but it is now available to view online and is on show at some cinemas. It made about $15m through downloads alone over its first three days of distribution.

"I have to say that I'm very proud of all the employees, and certainly the partners who stood up against the extortionist efforts of criminals, and worked tirelessly, sometimes for days on end to bring you The Interview," said Hirai.

He added: "I have to say that freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of association - those are very important lifelines for Sony and our entertainment business".

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