U.S. authorities were expected to announce that not only was North Korea behind the devastating cyberattack against Sony Pictures, but that there may be a link to the Chinese government, a government official told Reuters.
Investigators have found that the massive data breach, which released thousands of private documents and personal information and instigated the cancellation of upcoming satire The Interview, was executed by North Korea "either through collaboration with Chinese actors or the use of Chinese servers to mask the origin of the attack."
The FBI announced in a statement on Friday that the agency has enough evidence to conclude that the North Korean government was, in fact, responsible for the hack: "We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there. Further, North Korea's attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States."
While many national security have suspected North Korea's involvement with the hacker group Guardians of Peace, the White House stopped short on Thursday of totally blaming the hermit nation, describing the hack as "a serious national security matter" and noting that the Obama administration is considering a "proportional response."
CNN cited an anonymous source at Sony Pictures in reporting that "the hackers behind a devastating cyberattack ... reportedly sent a new message to executives at the company on Friday, crediting them for a 'very wise' decision to cancel the Christmas day release of the film."
"Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy," the message says. "And we want everything related to the movie, including its trailers, as well as its full version down from any website hosting them immediately."
The message reportedly warns Sony studio executives that "we still have your private and sensitive data" and claims that they will "ensure the security of your data unless you make additional trouble
Editors Note: Mar. 2, 2015
An earlier version of this article failed to cite a passage from CNN in accordance with Mic editorial standards. The article has been updated to properly attribute the language to CNN.