Sony Pictures not poised to blame hack on North Korea, as probe continues

Sony Pictures has denied a report that it is poised to name North Korea as the source of last week's hacking incident that wreaked havoc on the company’s network.

Earlier on Wednesday tech website re/code reported that the studio was set to officially blame North Korea for the attack. Citing two sources close to the investigation, re/code said that an announcement could come as early as Wednesday.

However, Sony Pictures denies the report, noting that its probe into the hack is ongoing. "The investigation continues into this very sophisticated cyberattack. The re/code story is not accurate," wrote a Sony Pictures representative, in a text message to the Associated Press.

The FBI has already launched a probe into the attack, and has sent out an “FBI alert” to companies in the entertainment sector, describing the characteristics of the so-called “wiper malware” used in the attack. The agency, however, has not provided details of the hack’s possible perpetrators.

The finger of suspicion has already pointed at North Korea over the attack. Earlier this week a source familiar with the FBI alert told Fox News that the highly destructive malware was written in Korean, further fueling suspicions that Pyongyang launched the cyber attack.

However, the Korean-written malware also may have been an attempt to confuse investigators about its origin, according to the source.

Sony Pictures’ forthcoming film “The Interview,” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists enlisted to assassinate dictator Kim Jong-un, has outraged North Korea.

In June North Korea submitted a letter of complaint to the U.N., urging the U.S. to prevent the film’s release. U.N. officials released the letter on Wednesday.

“To allow the production and distribution of such a film on the assassination of an incumbent Head of a sovereign State should be regarded as the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war,” wrote North Korea's U.N. ambassador, in the email.

On Nov. 24 a hacking group called Guardians of Peace, or GOP, took over Sony Pictures’ corporate network and vowed to release sensitive corporate data if certain demands were not met. Variety reports that screener copies of at least five Sony movies were downloaded freely online following the hack. In a further twist, a spreadsheet appeared on a text sharing site Monday purportedly showing the salaries of top Sony Pictures executives.

Sony Pictures’ top brass have already voiced their anger over last week’s “brazen” cyberattack that wreaked havoc on the studio’s network. Cyber thieves, they warn, now have their hands on “a large amount” of the company’s confidential data, according to an email obtained by TheWrap website

Sony Pictures has reportedly hired FireEye’s Mandiant forensics unit to clear up the cyberattack.

The Culver City, Calif.-based company has not yet responded to a request for comment on this story from

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers