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    An entrance gate to Sony Pictures Studios is pictured in Culver City, California December 19, 2014

    US Turns to China for Help in Battling Alleged North Korean Hackers: Report

    © REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni
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    US officials have asked for China’s help in battling alleged North Korean cyber-attacks as part of a proportional response to an alleged Pyongyang hacker attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

    MOSCOW, December 21 (Sputnik) – US officials have turned to China for help in battling alleged North Korean cyber-attacks, according to a New York Times report.

    The move follows US President Obama's statement that the US will respond proportionally to the alleged North Korean cyber-attack that has caused damage to Sony Pictures entertainment.

    “What we are looking for is a blocking action, something that would cripple their efforts to carry out attacks,” the newspaper quotes one official as saying, without disclosing his name.

    According to the newspaper, co-operation with Beijing would be critical, since virtually all of North Korea’s telecommunications run through Chinese-operated networks.

    China has not responded so far and it remains unclear whether it will choose to cooperate, as far back as May the US Department of Justice indicted five members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, charging them with hacking into the networks of Westinghouse Electric, the United States Steel Corporation and other companies and stealing sensitive information.

    Earlier on Saturday, North Korea denied having launched the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, calling the US accusations "groundless slander."

    Pyongyang even suggested setting up a joint investigation into the incident with Washington, according to a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman.

    The spokesman also added that if the United States refused to cooperate on the joint investigation, but continued to accuse North Korea, there would be “grave consequences”.

    The US however has dismissed the joint probe offer.

    "If the North Korean government wants to help, they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused," AFP quotes US National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh as saying.

    Also on Saturday, South Korea vowed to cooperate with Washington on the attack on the Japanese multimedia giant, saying it will seek to ensure safety in cyberspace through international cooperation, including sharing information on the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment with the US government, according to a statement which was published on South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

    Earlier this week, Sony decided to halt the release of "The Interview", a comedy about an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The decision came after the company was threatened by hackers, who released Sony's e-mails, files and personal information, exposing it to lawsuits.

    A logo is pictured outside Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California December 19, 2014
    © REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni
    A logo is pictured outside Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California December 19, 2014


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