Last month's devastating cyber-attack on Sony Pictures was not an "act of war", but simple vandalism, President Barack Obama has said.
The White House is still weighing how best to respond to the hack, which prompted Sony to cancel the Christmas release of its comedy The Interview, and which the United States believes was carried out by North Korea.
The attack is thought to have been a response to the film, which depicts the death of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.
"I don't think it was an act of war," Obama told CNN in an interview broadcast yesterday. "I think it was an act of cyber-vandalism that was very costly, very expensive. We take it very seriously. We will respond proportionately."
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The Administration is considering adding North Korea to its list of states that sponsor terrorism, from which it was removed six years ago. According to a report by the New York Times, the US has also asked China to help block its neighbour's capability to launch further cyber-attacks. North Korea relies on Chinese networks for almost all of its telecommunications.
North Korea has denied responsibility, and has said it will retaliate if subjected to reprisals. The country's National Defence Commission claimed it was "ready to stand in confrontation with the US in all war spaces including cyber-warfare space". The military regime added, "Our toughest counter-action will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole US mainland, the cesspool of terrorism, by far surpassing the 'symmetric counteraction' declared by Obama."
Speaking to CNN, Obama reiterated his belief that Sony had "made a mistake" by pulling The Interview.
- Independent, Telegraph Group Ltd