Hackers Win: Sony Cancels Release of 'The Interview' Over Threats

Dec 18, 2014 06:30 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

U.S. investigators have determined that North Korea was behind the controversial cyber-attack on Sony computers,

U.S. government sources confirmed late on Wednesday that the attack was "state-sponsored" and several sources said that North Korea was the government involved.

The Obama administration is debating internally whether to make a public announcement of the investigator's findings, the officials told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Earlier in the day, Sony Pictures decided to cancel the Christmas Day release of its North Korea comedy "The Interview" after a number of major U.S. theater chains pulled out of showing the film following threats from hackers.

 "In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release," the studio said in a statement. "We respect and understand our partners' decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers."

The group taking responsibility for the hack called Guardians of Pease threatening to blow up movie theaters if the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy was released next week. They compared potential attacks to those that occurred on September 11, 2001.

"The world will be full of fear," the group said in a statement this week. "Remember the 11th of September 2001."

The group stole intellectual property, private emails and sensitive and proprietary material from Sony, all because they wanted to stop the release of a movie.

"We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public," the company said in a statement. "We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome."

The decision not to release the movie is a blow to Sony, who around $44 million to make the movie. The comedy centered around a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un.

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