North Korea Hacked a British TV Company That Was Going to Make a Show About North Korea

By Tom Pritchard on at

When it comes to having people adapt their country for various media projects, North Korea is, well, a little bit grumpy. Just ask Sony. It seems as though its efforts to sabotage anyone trying to produce anything related to the country, including hacking a British TV company that had plans to produce just that sort of show.

Back in 2014 Channel 4 announced a series called Opposite Number, about a British nuclear scientist taken prisoner by North Korea. It was set to be written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Matt Charman, and developed by production firm Mammoth Screen.

Following the announcement the country declared the series to be a "slanderous farce", protesting its development and asking that the British government stop production in order to prevent damaging relations with the rogue state. Someone should tell Kim Jong Un that that isn't how things are done here. Certainly not yet anyway.

The country than took things a step further with some hacking. While the New York Times claims that Channel 4 itself was the subject of the hack, the BBC is reporting that it was actually Mammoth Screen at the receiving end of the cyber attack. Evidently the hackers were only interested in scaring people. since they didn't actually inflict any damage on the firm's network. The hack did, however, cause plenty of panic as people tried to figure out what to do.

Opposite Number has been shelved, at least for the time being, for reasons reportedly due to the fact producers were unable to secure the necessary funding to have it made. According to the BBC nobody at Mammoth Screen, or its parent company ITV Studios Global Entertainment, will confirm whether or not the hack had anything to do with the project failing to attract the funding it needed.

If anything the Sony hack proved that cyber espionage could be a useful tool, which is likely why North Korea has stepped up its game in recent years. Not only was it responsible for both the aforementioned attacks, British Intelligence has also blamed the country for the spread of WannaCry ransomware earlier this year. North Korea is also responsible for hacking the South Korean defence ministry last year. [BBC News]


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