Home Business News US Hits North Korea With New Sanctions Over Sony Cyber-attack, Calls It Cyber-vandalism

US Hits North Korea With New Sanctions Over Sony Cyber-attack, Calls It Cyber-vandalism

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                                                North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-un
 
The US has imposed new sanctions on North Korea in response to a cyber-attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment.
 
President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Friday allowing sanctions on three North Korean organisations and 10 individuals.
 
The White House said the move was a response to North Korea's "provocative, destabilising, and repressive actions".
 
US sanctions are already in place over North Korea's nuclear programme.
 
But Friday's actions are the first time the US has moved to punish Pyongyang for cyber-attacks.
 
The FBI previously said it believed North Korea was behind the Sony hack.
 
The entertainment giant was embarrassed after a group calling itself Guardians of Peace leaked data from Sony computers, exposing emails and personal details.
 
President Obama has previously described the cyber-attack as "an act of cyber-vandalism"
 
The group later threatened cinema chains planning to screen Sony's satirical North Korea comedy, The Interview. Oblique references to the 9/11 terror attacks prompted cancellation of the film's nationwide release.
 
Additional sanctions on North Korea suggest the US is not backing off its assertion that Pyongyang was involved, despite North Korea denying involvement in the hack, and lingering questions from some cyber-security experts.
 
"We take seriously North Korea's attack that aimed to create destructive financial effects on a US company and to threaten artists and other individuals with the goal of restricting their right to free expression," the White House said in a statement.
 
Among those named in the sanctions were:
 
The Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korea's primary intelligence organisation.
 
North Korea's primary arms dealer, the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (Komid).
 
Korea Tangun Trading Corporation, which supports North Korea's defence research.
 
Jang Song Chol: Named by the US Treasury as a Komid representative in Russia and a government official.
 
Kim Yong Chol: An official of the North Korean government, according to the US, and a Komid representative in Iran.
 
Ryu Jin and Kang Ryong: Komid officials and members of the North Korean government who are operating in Syria, according to the US.
 
It is unclear how those entities were related to the cyber-attack.
 
Source: BBC
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