A congressman may have just acknowledged that the United States was responsible for North Korea's massive Internet outage in late December.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, hinted at a Washington think tank event on Tuesday that the denial-of-service attack was a reaction to North Korea’s alleged hacking of Sony Pictures last November, Bloomberg Politics reported.
“There were some cyber responses to North Korea,” he was quoted as saying.
McCaul declined to clarify whether or not the U.S. was responsible for the action.
It all began on Nov. 24 when emails between Sony employees, information about executive salaries at the company, copies of unreleased films, and other information were obtained and released by a group of hackers who go by the name of “Guardians of Peace” (GOP).
Though it was initially alleged that the troublemakers probably belonged to North Korea and the cyberattack was a backlash to The Interview, one of the hacked movies, those rumors were soon discarded after the hermit kingdom denied any involvement in it.
However, the speculation reemerged when the FBI linked North Korea to the hack. Three days after President Barack Obama vowed a U.S. response to the Sony Hack, North Korea’s Internet was disrupted for about 10 hours on Dec. 21 and 22.
Although the outage's cause was never clear, McCaul’s latest statement suggests that it may have been a U.S. (counter) cyberattack.