American officials investigating the source of the recent Sony hack have determined that North Korea is “centrally involved” in the cyber attack against the studio, the New York Times reported.
The news comes in the wake of Sony’s decision to cancel the release of its film “The Interview,” which involves a fictional, CIA-sanctioned plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The hackers had previously threatened a violent response if the movie was released — recalling the September 11 attacks — and the country’s largest theater chains decided to drop the film from their venues.
According to CNN, American officials will detail their findings on Thursday.
Meanwhile, other unnamed officials told NBC News that the source of the cyber attack did not come directly from within North Korea. Instead, investigators believe the individuals responsible were taking orders from North Korea.
“We have found linkage to the North Korean government,” said a US government source.
Despite the discovery of such a link, unnamed officials told the New York Times that the White House is still mulling over what type of response to make in public.Some in the Obama administration believe the US should respond forcefully and confront Kim, while others are wary of escalating the situation.
Additionally, some officials do not want to divulge too many details regarding their investigation, since North Korea’s computer networks are extremely difficult to breach and they don’t want to inadvertently reveal their methods.
In a report by ABC News, US officials said the government believes that “Bureau 121,” a highly capable North Korean cyber unit, could be behind the attacks. They also said there is evidence indicating the hack was “routed through a number of infected computers in various locations overseas, including computers in Singapore, Thailand, Italy, Bolivia, Poland and Cyprus.”