The hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment was the “most serious” cyberattack made yet against U.S. interests, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at a cybersecurity conference at Fordham University on Wednesday. The FBI has said the North Korean government was behind the hacking attack that led to massive online dumps of information from Sony’s systems and caused the studio to briefly cancel plans to release its film ‘The Interview.’ Some cybersecurity experts have expressed skepticism that the isolated nation could have carried out the attack alone. “They are deadly serious about affronts to the Supreme Leader,” Clapper said of North Korea. “They will keep doing it again and again until we push back.” The buddy comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, which depicts a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has so far grossed $31 million in online and cable sales and $5 million at theaters, Reuters reported. Clapper said that he had watched ‘The Interview’ and that the North Koreans “don’t have a sense of humor.” The spy chief also talked about cyber surveillance and the Snowden revelations on Wednesday, saying that the release of NSA documents had led to changes in the way terrorists communicate with one another.
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--- Tom Winter and Matthew DeLuca