The statement lays out at least some of the evidence the U.S. government has uncovered tying North Korea to the attack.
This comes as a source close to Sony confirms that company executives received a new message laden with threats, saying, "Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy."
On Nov. 21, Sony executives received an email warning them not to release their new “movie of terror,” referring to the comedy “The Interview,” which depicts a fictional assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Soon thereafter, Sony was hit with the now-infamous cyber-attack, crippling its computer network and flooding the Internet with embarrassing internal emails and employees’ personal information.
Earlier this month, a North Korean official denied allegations that the government was involved in the hacking, calling it “wild speculation.” Still, the official described the attack as a “righteous deed,” according to a North Korean state news agency.
Then, on Tuesday, a message posted online warned of a 9/11-style attack on theaters showing the film. Sony then decided not to release the movie at all.
A group calling itself “Guardians of Peace” has claimed responsibility.
Last week, the head of the Justice Department's National Security Division, John Carlin, said the Sony hack “has our full attention.” Two days later, FBI officials held a meeting in New York with executives from across the entertainment industry to brief them on cyber-related threats to their companies, sources told ABC News.
In addition, just hours before Sony’s decision on Wednesday to pull the plug on its Christmas Day release of the movie, the FBI issued its first official message about the Sony hack to joint terrorism task forces across the country -– comprised of federal, state and local officials that the FBI describes as “our nation’s front line on terrorism.”
“The FBI’s investigative team believes these [latest threats] increase the threat level” inside the United States, according to the message. But, FBI officials emphasized, the threat to movie theaters was not deemed credible, and the message distributed Wednesday by the FBI was simply precautionary and informational.