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OFF BEAT: Sony hack an international tit-for-tat?

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Although cyber breach can seem like an impersonal crime, investigators are now probing the possibility that a Sony Corp. unit was hacked as a result of some hurt feelings.

According to Reuters, hackers working on behalf of North Korea have emerged as suspects in an attack that shut down computers at Sony Pictures Entertainment for a week. Perhaps not coincidentally, the studio is set to release a comedy, “The Interview,” in which the CIA enlists a journalist to kill North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

In June, a spokesperson for North Korea called the film, which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, a “most blatant act of terrorism and war” and vowed a “merciless counter-measure” in response.

Whether or not North Korea is ultimately fingered as the source of breach, companies may want to remember that when it comes to cyber defense, despotic dear leaders have feelings, too.