GOP chairman: Sony hack came from North Korea

Greg Nash

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said Thursday that by deciding not to release the controversial movie “The Interview,” Sony Pictures is caving to a “terrorist threat.”

“Any time you give into them, you empower them, and I’m concerned that we are going to see more types of threats,” McCaul said on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” 

Sony pulled the movie after hackers promised “9/11-style” attacks on any theater that shows the new movie that depicts the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. U.S. officials have said those threats are unfounded. 

{mosads}”Clearly, I believe this came from North Korea, a state sponsor of cyber-terrorism,” McCaul said. 

“I think it’s important that the administration responds under the military doctrine of proportional response.”

News outlets have reported that U.S. officials believe North Korea was involved in the attack, but the administration has stopped short of accusing the East Asian nation. North Korea has panned the movie since the studio began making it and called it an “act of war,” but denied responsibility for the hack.

McCaul noted that foreign governments, including Iran, have waged cyberattacks on the U.S. before, but that the government hasn’t yet decided how to deal with this “new frontier.”

“We need to calculate what is an act of warfare in the cyberspace and what is the appropriate response or retaliation,” he said. 

“I don’t think that’s clearly defined right now.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on “The Lead” right before McCaul that the administration is meeting to determine a potential response and will not back down on cyber threats. 

She added that while the State Department talked with Sony about the potential implications of the release of the movie, which she called a “normal part of the process,” the agency doesn’t sign off on movies to protect companies’ free speech. 

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