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U.S. hits North Korea with huge new sanctions in response to Sony hack

January 2nd, 2015 at 2:15 PM

The United States just struck back against North Korea for its alleged role in the hack of Sony Pictures. In official statement released on Friday, U.S. president Barack Obama said he was signing an executive order authorizing stiff sanctions against North Korea for its “ongoing provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

Bloomberg reports that the order targets 10 individuals in North Korea along with three state agencies and effectively authorizes the Treasury Department to “block the individuals and agencies from accessing the U.S. financial system and banning U.S. citizens from engaging in business with them.”

Although the U.S. government remains convinced that North Korea was behind the hack on Sony, several security experts have expressed skepticism that the country could have carried out such a massive attack without some help from within the company itself.

Given how North Korea is already extremely isolated and already faces multiple sanctions from countries around the world, it’s questionable whether these new sanctions will actually act as a deterrent to the country. That said, these sanctions are a milestone since they’re the first time we can recall a country being economically punished for its attempts to stop a Seth Rogen movie from being released.

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