Sony Pictures was targeted in another hack blamed on the North Korean group in 2014.
This undated photo released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Park Jin Hyok, a computer programmer accused of working at the behest of the North Korean government, was charged Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, in connection with several high-profile cyberattacks.
The United States charged a North Korean computer programmer with some of the most dramatic global hacking cases of recent years, alleging they were carried out on behalf of the regime in Pyongyang.
The Justice Department has charged a North Korean cyber-operative with attacks and mayhem that prosecutors say was carried out under orders from Kim Jong Un.
United States prosecutors have charged a North Korean man alleged to have been involved in creating the malicious software used to cripple the UK's National Health Service.
"The scale and scope of the cyber-crimes alleged by the complaint is staggering and offensive to all who respect the rule of law and the cyber norms accepted by responsible nations", said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. Sony was responsible for The Interview, a fictionalized assassination of North Korea's leader.
The affidavit includes new details into the methods used in the Sony Pictures attack, including spear phishing messages sent to Sony Pictures employees and "actors and other personnel associated with the movie 'The Interview, '" starting in September of 2014.
Among the emails released in the hack was an exchange between Amy Pascal, then co-chairman of the studio, and "The Social Network" producer Scott Rudin where they joked about what might be then-President Barack Obama's favourite movies, listing "12 Years a Slave" and films by black comedian Kevin Hart.
The North Korean government has repeatedly denied responsibility for the hack but called it "a righteous deed". "The North Korean-backed conspiracy attempted to crush freedom of speech in the USA and the U.K. It robbed banks around the world".
Treasury said it was also sanctioning the entity Park worked for, Chosun Expo Joint Venture, also known as Korea Expo Joint Venture or KEJV, and said it was controlled by the government of North Korea.
"The department has charged, arrested and imprisoned hackers working for the governments of China, Russia and Iran".
On Thursday, the Treasury Department also is expected to announce sanctions on North Korea individuals linked to the malicious activities. There has been no communication between the USA and North Korean government about a possible extradition, the official said.
In 2014, the Obama administration charged five Chinese military hackers with several digital break-ins at USA companies, and past year, the Justice Department charged Russian hackers with an intrusion at Yahoo Inc.
Thursday's charges come on the same day that President Donald Trump praised the North Korean leader.