North Korea Allegedly Hacked Sony Pictures—Did Obama Respond in Kind?

President Barack Obama
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Barack Obama
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Barack Obama announced on Friday that the United States would levy a proportional attack against North Korea, since the East Asian giant is widely believed to be the cyber culprit responsible for hacking into the emails of Sony Pictures. So when North Korea’s Internet services went out cold on Monday, rumors began to circulate that Obama had made good on his vow sooner than expected.

“While perhaps a coincidence,” the New York Times reported, “the failure of [North Korea’s] computer connections began only hours after President Obama declared Friday that the United States would launch a ‘proportional response’ to what he termed an act of ‘cybervandalism’ against Sony Pictures.”

According to the New York Times report, the Internet failure that North Korea is currently experiencing is “one of the worst” in years. And while U.S. officials have been asking around about how they can “cut off [North Korea’s] ability to send malicious code around the world,” they have not explicitly assumed responsibility for the current Internet outages.


“I guess accidents can happen,” a U.S. official said during a brief telephone conversation with the New York Times.

A State Department spokeswoman elaborated on how the U.S. would neither confirm nor deny its involvement, and how it doesn’t plan to discuss its plans to retaliate against North Korea’s cybervandalism.

“We aren’t going to discuss, you know, publicly, operational details about the possible response options,” Marie Harf told reporters on Monday. Harf mentioned that as the U.S. puts its response into action, “some will be seen, some may not be seen.”

Read more at the New York Times.

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