White House approves sanctions against North Korea for Sony hack

The economic sanctions are the 'first aspect' of the U.S. government's response to the Sony hack

U.S. President Barack Obama has authorized new economic sanctions against North Korea, in part for the country's alleged hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in November, the White House said.

Even though some security researchers have questioned whether North Korea was behind the Sony hack, the White House and the U.S. Department of the Treasury on Friday announced sanctions against 10 North Koreans and three organizations in the country.

The FBI blamed the government of North Korea for the attack in mid-December. The government of North Korea has denied involvement in the attack, although it praised hackers for attempting to prevent the release of "The Interview," a movie about a plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Obama's executive order is "a response to the government of North Korea's ongoing provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment," the White House said in a statement. "We take seriously North Korea's attack that aimed to create destructive financial effects on a U.S. company and to threaten artists and other individuals with the goal of restricting their right to free expression."

The sanctions are the "first aspect" of the U.S. government's response to the Sony attack, the White House said.

The sanctions deny the named people and organizations access to the U.S. financial system and prohibit U.S. residents from dealing with them.

The targeted groups in the Treasury Department sanctions are the Reconnaissance General Bureau, supposedly North Korea's primary intelligence organization; the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, allegedly the country's primary arms dealer; and the Korea Tangun Trading Corporation, which procures commodities and technologies to support North Korea's defense research and development programs.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags U.S. White Housesecuritydata breachSony Pictures EntertainmentgovernmentBarack ObamaU.S. Department of the TreasurytradeKim Jong UnU.S. FBI

More about FBIIDGNewsSony

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Grant Gross

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts