Justice Dept. set to announce charges in Sony Pictures hack

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Thank you to Chairman Kim. "The North Korean-backed conspiracy attempted to crush freedom of speech in the USA and the U.K. It robbed banks around the world". Two Gmail addresses identified in the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the complaint were listed as disabled.

The 34-year-old worked "on behalf of the government of North Korea or the Workers' Party of Korea", according to United States authorities. "Members of the conspiracy are responsible for some of the most damaging and most well known cyber intrusions in history including the cyberattack targeting Sony Pictures, the cyber heist of Bangladesh Bank and creating the WannaCry ransomware".

The Treasury announced financial sanctions on Park and a government-controlled company he worked at for more than a decade, Chosun Expo Joint Venture, also known as Korea Expo Joint Venture.

Park used a series of online personas for social media platforms, including on Facebook and Twitter, to send malicious links to individuals involved in the production of "The Interview", the complaint said.

The attack on Sony Pictures, for example, started with hackers doing research on the company in September 2014, and the malware used to attack its computers was customized as the result of a period of "sustained covert reconnaissance" by the hackers within its network before they launched the attack that disabled its computers.

The investigators revealed that cinema chain AMC was also targeted because it was due to show the film, as well as an unnamed British production company that was also working on a film depicting North Korea.

Emails sent to Chosun Expo's generic email address and to the website's original registrant, whose name was given as Won Sun Chol, went unreturned.

Park is believed to be somewhere in North Korea, but it emerged on Thursday he has been charged with conspiracy in a Californian court over the attack on the NHS in may a year ago which spread to 150 countries.

The North Koreans undertook the Sony hack, United States officials say, in retaliation for the Sony comedy film "The Interview", about a scheme to assassinate the North Korean leader.

The DOJ has charged hackers in China, Iran and Russian Federation aiming to dissuade foreign powers from accommodating those who would attack USA corporations.

In 2014, for instance, the Obama administration charged five Chinese military hackers with a series of digital break-ins at American companies, and previous year, the Justice Department charged Russian hackers with an intrusion at Yahoo Inc.

Park is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The North Korean government has repeatedly denied responsibility for the hack but called it "a righteous deed". It was not immediately clear what effect they might have on those diplomatic efforts - whether, for example, North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un might walk away. "We will get it done together!"