US imposes sanctions against North Korea for hacking Sony PicturesRaymond Billings (Author) Published Date : Jan 05, 2015 10:02 ET
Against the background that the United States has never been too comfortable with North Korean policies orchestrated from Pyongyang against the West, the Obama administration has imposed a number of sanctions against North Korea, its agencies, and key government officials for its alleged role at hacking the security of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
This wave of imposed sanctions signed off by the presidency signals the US s first response against the cyber-attacks the FBI alleged had been carried out by North Korea this is the first White House response of retaliation against Pyongyang.
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, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement. 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.
Citing North Korea s provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies...including its destructive, coercive cyber-related actions during November and December 2014, President Obama signed an executive order authorizing significant sanctions against North Korean agencies and government officials as well as its ruling part the Workers Party of Korea.
Ten North Korean officials and three government agencies operative in Russia, Iran, and Syria have been caught up in the sanctions, and they are to be denied access to the US financial system as well as barred from entering the United States. The Korea Tangun Trading Corporation the communist nation s primary arms dealer and technology procurement corporation, as well as North Korea s major intelligence organization have been enclosed within the sanctions. However, the US had earlier sanctioned Pyongyang because of aspects of its nuclear programs.
According to conspiracy theorists, it is believed that North Korea moved to hack into Sony Pictures systems in order to deter the entertainment giant from releasing a comedy movie about two journalists assigned to assassinate North Korea s leader. Titled The Interview , the film was regarded to be a blow-dealer to the image of Pyongyang and hence the attempt to punish Sony Pictures. The hack into its systems disrupted Sony s systems and allowed for the leakage of sensitive information among other private communications this brought a great embarrassment to the entertainment organization.
However, despite the fact that several cyber-security experts and among them the firm, Norse, disagreed with tenable proofs that North Korea was not behind the attack on Sony but rather an insider job, the US government maintains that 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. Attribution to North Korea is based on intelligence from the FBI, the U.S. intelligence community, DHS, foreign partners and the private sector.
The bureau added: There is no credible information to indicate that any other individual is responsible for this cyber incident. And Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew vowed that We will continue to use this broad and powerful tool to expose the activities of North Korean government officials and entities.
The response of North Korea to this wave of sanctions is yet to be received.
US imposes sanctions against North Korea for hacking Sony Pictures