The attack took place before the release of the comedy film The Interview, which depicts a fictional Central Intelligence Agency plot to kill North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un. That attack led to the release of a trove of sensitive personal information about Sony employees, including Social Security numbers, financial records, salary information, as well as embarrassing emails among top executives.
A lengthy 179-page affidavit [PDF] from the special agent in charge of the investigation gives an extensive rundown of how the attacks were tracking back to Hyok, his hacking group, and eventually the North Korean government. "Some of the operational accounts were used in the name "Kim Hyon Woo" (or variations of that name), an alias that the subjects used in connection with the targeting of and cyber-attacks on SPE, Bangladesh Bank, and other victims".
"Our policy is to hold North Korea accountable and demonstrate to the regime that there is a cost to its provocative and irresponsible actions".
"The scale and scope of the cyber-crimes alleged by the complaint is staggering and offensive to all who respect the rule of law and the cyber norms accepted by responsible nations", said the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, John Demers.
The attacks came after Pyongyang sent a letter to the United Nations, demanding that Sony not move forward with a movie comedy that portrayed the US-backed assassination of a character made to look like North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "Not only did the North Koreans burn down the Sony network, inflicting millions of dollars in damage, the attack was then followed by a campaign to instill fear among the American public".
A logo is pictured outside Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California December 19, 2014.
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"It really means a lot", said Osaka whose post-match, on-court interview endeared her further to a growing legion of fans. Cilic has made two grand slam finals since but Nishikori has never been back and will now take on either twice U.S.
Activity from Park's real-name Chosun Expo account and numerous accounts tied to Lazarus Group activity originated from the same Internet addresses in North Korea.
The hackers used the same aliases and accounts from the Sony attack when they sent spear-phishing emails to several US defence contractors, including Lockheed Martin, and others in South Korea, officials said.
The Justice Department in recent years has charged hackers from China, Iran and Russian Federation in hopes of publicly shaming other countries for sponsoring cyber attacks on American corporations.
No North Korean government officials were referenced in the complaint by name, though it does allege the government sponsored the attacks. There has been no communication between the USA and North Korean government about a possible extradition, the official said.
Officials insist that the timing of the unsealing of the criminal complaint has nothing to do with the June summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump, or with the push to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.