Investigators Consider North Korea Link in Sony Hacking Attack

Unreleased copies of five movies were leaked online.

ByABC News
December 1, 2014, 10:20 AM

— -- Investigators are looking at possible North Korea link to a breach of Sony Pictures’ computer system.

Sony Pictures reportedly was forced to shut down its computer systems for several days after a hacker group calling itself GOP -- the Guardians of Peace -- allegedly took over Sony’s internal network and threatened to release sensitive corporate data.

Copies of five of Sony’s movies -- “Annie,” “Fury,” “Still Alice,” “Mr. Turner” and “To Write Love on Her Arms” -- appeared online days after the attack despite note being out on home video or, in most cases, even in theaters.

It was unclear if the hacking and piracy were linked.

Sony told ABC News that the theft of its content “is a criminal matter and we are working closely with law enforcement to address it.”

Stephen Galloway, executive features editor with Hollywood Reporter, said the financial ramifications of the movie leaks could be steep.

“That can do hundreds of millions of [dollars in] damage if it continues,” Galloway said.

Sony is reportedly looking into whether North Korea is to blame.

The government there has voiced anger about an upcoming comedy, “The Interview,” starring Seth Rogan and James Franco. The movie, produced by Sony, features the comic duo traveling to North Korea and pursuing a plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un.

The North Korean government-controlled news company, Uriminzokkiri, released a statement Friday calling the upcoming movie an “evil act of provocation” that deserved stern punishment.

Rogan discussed the movie earlier this year in an interview with ABC News.

“It’s a tough subject matter, I think, but I think the best comedies do deal with what on the surface might be a tough subject to make light of,” he said.