MANHATTAN (CN) - The FBI formally announced Friday that North Korea was behind the cyberattack on Sony that led to recent cancelation of the movie "The Interview."
"The FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions," the FBI said Friday afternoon.
A group called The Guardians of Peace claimed responsibility for the attack, which netted the Social Security numbers and other personal data of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employees, jammed thousands of its computers and caused Sony to take its network offline, the Justice Department announced.
Starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, and originally slated for a Dec. 25 release, "The Interview" reportedly sparked objections from North Korea because of its scene depicting the fictional assassination of its leader Kim Jong-un.
Sony pulled the plug on the flick after theaters refused to premiere it amid threats of Christmas Day terrorism from The Guardians.
"We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there," the FBI said in a statement. "Further, North Korea's attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States.
"North Korea's actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves," its statement continues.
Sony told the FBI last month that it was the victim of a cyber-attack, revealing that "large quantities of personal and commercial data" were stolen.
The FBI says the malware the organization used to attack Sony was linked to other programs North Korea has previously developed, and that there were "similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks."