North Korea has been hit with sanctions even though the communist nation has continued to deny having any part in the Sony hack attack. President Obama has signed sanctions against the country on Friday. The United States has determined that the attacks came from the rogue country.
The new sanctions being issued by the White House are aimed at three government entities and 10 people in North Korea. The new restrictions will prevent them from having any access to the financial system in the United States, and the parties involved are also barred from entering the U.S.
These sanctions are being issued in addition to sanctions that are already in place against North Korea for previous nuclear offenses. The White House is identifying the sanctions as being part of the retaliation promised for hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says that it has verified the hack attacks against Sony came from North Korea. Not all law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation are in agreement with this assessment. Some investigators believe the attacks may have stemmed from ex-employees of Sony.
In defense of the FBI’s position in the matter, some officials said on Friday that there is information the FBI has access to that private tech firms do not. It is that secret information that proves Pyongyang is guilty of the cyber crime offense.
In the announcement of the sanctions, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that these sanctions are being issued because the United States takes attacks that affect our finances, companies, and citizens seriously. He stressed that America supports free expression. He also indicated that these sanctions are the first part of the response that will be given.
As North Korea is hit with more sanctions over the Sony hacking incidence, some of the people listed under the sanctions are government officials who are currently in other countries, including Russia, Syria, and Iran. Other agencies affected by the sanctions include North Korea’s major arms dealer, their primary intelligence organization, and an agency that serves as their primary means of gathering technology.
White House officials have pointed out the 10 officials the sanctions are against did not necessarily have any active part in the planning or conducting of the attacks against Sony. Instead, they were selected because they have been involved in other types of attacks against the U.S.
The hack attack against Sony left about three-fourths of their computers and servers inoperable. It also stole private data and intercepted conversations among the staff and employees of the company. The goal of the sanctions, according to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, was to punish them for the loss that took place at Sony and also to warn them against trying it again.
Some of those agencies that had the sanctions imposed against them were also targets of sanctions under President Bush. The Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, for instance, is an organization that deals in weapons. It has offices in North Korean embassies all over the world. The United Nations (U.N.) has also levied some sanctions against this group previously. Seven of the 10 individuals being sanctioned against are part of this agency.
As North Korea is hit with more sanctions over the Sony hacking incidence, President Obama stressed that the sanctions are not against the people of North Korea, but against those who have repeatedly threatened the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. The attack itself was not considered an act of war. However, it was an act of cyber-vandalism.
Blog by Leigh Haugh