Cybersecurity

House chairman: US pressuring China, Russia over Sony Pictures hack

The United States is pressuring Russia and China over the cyberattack of Sony Pictures linked to North Korea, the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee said Wednesday.

“North Korea, in order to get this expertise, does send its young hackers off to Moscow. In the past, they’ve sent them to Beijing. Certainly, they have used the — the Chinese servers in order to access the Internet here in the United States,” Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said while appearing on Fox News.

“So we are putting pressure on Moscow and on Beijing.”

{mosads}Royce said the United States should enact direct financial sanctions on the North Korea to cripple its intelligence operation and stop the government’s illicit nuclear program.

He said the sanctions could be based on the 2005 restrictions placed on a Macau bank that was allegedly processing counterfeit money for the North Koreans.

The ability of the country — which has limited access to the Internet — to conduct cyber warfare has come into focus in recent weeks after hackers breached the servers of Sony Pictures, one of the companies behind a new film that shows the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The FBI said last week that the breach was in some way connected to North Korea, and President Obama promised a response. Some speculated the United States was behind an Internet outage on Monday in the country.

Though it initially pulled the film because hackers had warned of more terrorist attacks, Sony decided this week it would release “The Interview” in select theaters and on YouTube.

Royce said he would see the movie on Thursday. 

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