President Barack Obama said Friday that Sony Pictures “made a mistake” when it pulled its comedy The Interview in the face of threats by hackers who he said were from North Korea. He also vowed that the United States would respond to the cyberattack. Speaking at his year-end press conference, Obama said he was “sympathetic” to Sony’s situation. The company had just had its computer network sabotaged and huge amounts of internal data exposed, and the hackers who did it then threatened violence against theaters that showed the movie.
President Barack Obama vowed on Friday to respond to a devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures that he blamed on North Korea, and scolded the Hollywood studio for caving in to what he described as a foreign dictator imposing censorship in America. Obama said the cyber attack caused a lot of damage to Sony but that the company should not have let itself be intimidated into halting the public release of “The Interview,” a lampoon portraying the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “We will respond,” Obama told an end-of-year news conference. “We’ll respond proportionally, and we’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose.” Earlier, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it had determined that North Korea was behind the hacking of Sony, saying Pyongyang’s actions fell “outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior.”