Cybersecurity

Intel chief Clapper watched ‘The Interview’

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper finally got a chance to watch “The Interview” over the weekend.

His review?

“It’s obvious to me the North Koreans don’t have a sense of humor,” the intelligence chief said during a speech at Fordham Law School on Wednesday, ABC News reported.

{mosads}The controversial comedy, which depicts an American plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has caused an uproar. It spurred hackers — backed by Pyongyang, according to the FBI — to go after Sony Pictures Entertainment, shutting down its computer network, leaking internal documents and threatening attacks on theaters screening the film.

Sony’s initial decision to cancel the film’s Christmas Day release invited criticism from lawmakers and intelligence officials who said the company was giving in to threats. Sony eventually released the film in select theaters and online.

Clapper on Wednesday called the hack “the most serious cyberattack ever made against U.S. interests.”

“We have to push back,” he said. “If they get global recognition with no consequence they’ll do it again and again.”

The White House has promised to “respond proportionally,” and on Friday announced a new round of economic sanctions targeting the reclusive East Asian regime. The administration said Tuesday the move was likely one of several steps it would take.

While the FBI has generally blamed the North Korean government for the incident, Clapper on Wednesday singled out North Korean Gen. Kim Youn Chol during his speech, The Daily Beast reported.

“Kim was a four-star general in charge of the Reconnaissance General Bureau,” he said. “The RGB is the organization responsible with overseeing the attack against Sony.”

Clapper recalled an awkward 12-course meal he shared with Kim last year during a trip to Pyongyang to retrieve two American prisoners. The meal included a yelling match between the two, while they poked fingers in each other’s chests.

“Cyber is a powerful new realm for them,” Clapper said, according to ABC. “They can get recognition for their cyber capabilities” without large investments.

Clapper’s not the only one who has plopped down a couple bucks to see “The Interview.” The film has brought in $31 million from online rentals and sales, with another $5 million from its limited theatrical release.

Tags James Clapper The Interview

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