Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Justice Dept. Set to Announce Charges in Sony Pictures Hack

Justice Dept. Set to Announce Charges in Sony Pictures Hack

The complaint also alleges that Park was in China in 2014, but returned to North Korea shortly before the Sony attack.

Shortly after, . the U.S. Treasury Department slapped sanctions on the same individual.

A computer programmer has been charged in the USA with working for the North Korean state in a series of notorious cyber attacks, including the WannaCry ransomware that crippled the NHS.

The FBI alleged that the North Korean government, through a state-sponsored group, robbed a central bank and citizens of other nations, retaliated against free speech in order to chill it half a world away, and created disruptive malware that indiscriminately affected victims in more than 150 other countries, causing hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars' worth of damage, Demers said.

Also Thursday, the Treasury Department is expected to announce sanctions on North Koreans linked to the attacks.

The department also sanctioned the agency, stating that all property and interests of both Chosun Expo and Park within the US or in the possession of USA citizens must be frozen. There has been no communication between the USA and North Korean government about a possible extradition, the official said.

"These activities run afoul of norms of acceptable safe behavior in cyber space and the global community must address them when we can", Demers said, adding that the charges "reflect the department's determination and ability to follow the facts and the law and to hold individuals and nations accountable for their crimes".

U.S. officials believed the Sony hack was in retaliation for "The Interview," a satirical film that starred Seth Rogen and James Franco and centered on a plot to assassinate North Korean despot Kim Jong Un.

The North Korean hacker has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and another count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

He is also charged with conspiring with others to steal $81 million from a bank in Bangladesh, according to the Justice Department's criminal complaint.

WannaCry affected hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries a year ago and the Sony Pictures hack resulted in leaked films, scripts, employee information, internal emails and company passwords.

A senior Justice Department official said a criminal investigation into Park and his accomplices was still ongoing.

Diplomatic efforts have sputtered since the June summit, though Kim said through South Korean security officials Thursday that he still has faith Trump is committed to ending hostile relations.

Among the emails released in the hack was an exchange between Amy Pascal, then co-chairman of the studio, and "The Social Network" producer Scott Rudin where they joked about what might be then-President Barack Obama's favourite movies, listing "12 Years a Slave" and films by black comedian Kevin Hart.

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