The Interview The Interview

U.S. officials are blaming North Korea for the hack into Sony Pictures Entertainment, NBC News reports.

The hack, and subsequent terror threats, have prompted the studio to cancel the theatrical release of Seth Rogen and James Franco's comedy The Interview, one scene of which depicts the gruesome assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Sources tell NBC News that the hack probably originated outside of North Korea, but they believe it came on orders from North Korean officials.

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The hackers have released a slew of embarrassing emails from Sony's internal servers, including messages that contain insults about Angelina Jolie and President Obama.

Earlier this week, a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace threatened that the United States would see 9/11-esque repercussions if Sony proceeded with the planned Christmas Day release of The Interview. After several major theater chains said they would refuse to show the film, Sony announced yesterday that it was scrapping the movie entirely.

One U.S. official told NBC News the country "can't let this go unanswered."

"The U.S. government is working tirelessly to bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice," the White House National Security Council said in a statement Wednesday, as reported by NBC News. "We take very seriously any attempt to threaten or limit artists' freedom of speech or of expression."