Hackers demand Sony pulls plug on 'The Interview'

A posting on an Internet forum links the Sony Pictures hack to North Korea

The group claiming responsibility for the Sony Pictures hack has denied it threatened Sony employees and demanded the studio halt the release of a movie that makes light of an assassination attempt on the leader of North Korea.

The message was posted on the Github website and claims to be from the the Guardians of Peace, a previously unknown hacker group that claimed responsibility for the attacked on Sony Pictures more than two weeks ago

It says the group has no knowledge of threats against Sony Pictures employees and their families, which were emailed to some employees on Friday.

"We know nothing about the threatening email received by Sony staffers," the message says, then goes on to demand that Sony halts release of a "movie of terrorism" that will "break the regional peace and cause the War."

It appears to be a reference to "The Interview," a comedy about an 'assassination attempt on Kim Jong Un' that made North Korea an early suspect in the hackcking.

It's the first time that a message purportedly from the hackers has linked the movie to the attack on Sony.

Over the weekend, North Korean state media broke its silence about the accusations of responsibility, saying it had nothing to do with the attack but that supporters of North Korea might have carried it out.

"The hacking into the Sony Pictures might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK in response to its appeal," said the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

That could be wishful thinking. North Korea has few supporters in the world thanks to its appalling human rights record and history of provoking its neighbors.

So with the latest message posted online, much remains unclear.

It's impossible to say if the message, or those sent before it, actually came from the hackers responsible for the attacks. It's equally uncertain if the implied link to North Korea is a reaction to its statement over the weekend designed to sow confusion.

The message does, however, make one thing clear: The hackers are confident of themselves and willing to leak more Sony secrets online.

"You, Sony & FBI, cannot find us. We are perfect as much," their message reads.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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