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DHS finds no evidence for attack on theaters showing 'The Interview'

Alleged hackers have warned potential viewers of the film to "Remember the 11th of September." The Department of Homeland Security says it has found "no credible intelligence" attacks will happen.

Seth Rosenblatt Former Senior Writer / News
Senior writer Seth Rosenblatt covered Google and security for CNET News, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture. Formerly a CNET Reviews senior editor for software, he has written about nearly every category of software and app available.
Seth Rosenblatt
2 min read

Sony Pictures

The group claiming to have hacked Sony Pictures has warned people to stay away from theaters showing "The Interview," saying they will attack audiences who show up to see the comedy about North Korea's leader.

However, the Department of Homeland Security said it has found no evidence such a threat actually exists. "[A]t this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States," the DHS said in an emailed statement.

The movie is scheduled to open December 25.

"Remember the 11th of September 2001," the alleged hackers said in a threat posted Tuesday to document-sharing site PasteBin. "Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear."

The warning was issued with links to purported emails from Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, part of a cache of documents reportedly stolen from Sony in November by a group calling itself "Guardians of Peace."

The FBI confirmed it is investigating the threat but didn't say if the threat is connected to Sony's alleged hackers. Sony didn't respond to email or phone requests for comment.

Previously unknown, the "Guardians of Peace" claimed responsibility for the breach of Sony Pictures' network on November 24. They damaged computers and stole financial documents, unreleased movies, details on the company's inner workings, and information on employees and celebrities.

Circumstantial evidence has indicated North Korea could be behind the cyberattack, including similarities in the malware used by North Korea against South Korean media companies and banks in 2013.

North Korea, which has denied allegations of its involvement, expressed support for the hack.

"The hacking into Sony Pictures might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]," a spokesman for North Korea said.

Yesterday, two former Sony employees filed a lawsuit against Sony Pictures for not taking necessary precautions to protect their data. They are seeking class-action status and a jury trial.