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North Korea Is Behind The Sony Hack, U.S. Officials Say

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American officials say they believe North Korea—despite their protestations—is behind the cyberattack on Sony Entertainment over the release of the James Franco-Seth Rogen comedy The Interview.

"We have found linkage to the North Korean government," a U.S. government source told CNBC.

Officials say that the attack itself originated outside North Korea, but the individuals actually conducting the attack were acting on orders from North Korea. That's all the details authorities are offering for right now.

Sony just announced that they pulled the plug on the Christmas Day theatrical release of The Interview, whose premise is that Franco and Rogen's characters are recruited to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The North Korean government has said they believe the film is an act of war, though they've denied any connection to yesterday's terror threat against movie theaters showing the film or cyberattacks on Sony that include embarrassing and revealing documents and emails being leaked to the public.

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UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: The New York Times says that some members of the Obama administration want to confront Kim, but they're not sure exactly how. They're also concerned about revealing too much information about how they discovered evidence the hack was coming from North Korea. Others are advocating for caution, the Times writes:

Others argue that a direct confrontation with the North over the threats to Sony and moviegoers might result in escalation, and give North Korea the kind of confrontation it often covets. Japan, for which Sony is an iconic corporate name, has argued that a public accusation could interfere with delicate diplomatic negotiations underway for the return of Japanese nationals kidnapped years ago.

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