Sony Corp. President and Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai broke his silence on the cyberattack that crippled the company's film and television studio, calling the hacking "vicious" and "malicious."
Speaking at the
Sony Pictures Entertainment released its controversial film
The U.S. government has said the North Korean government orchestrated the attack to halt the release of the film, which depicts a fictional assassination attempt on the rogue state's leader Kim Jong Un.
The studio scrambled to get the movie released through digital video on-demand services, after major cinema chains declined to screen the movie. The Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy is now available through outlets including YouTube Movies,
"Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of association -- those are very important lifelines of Sony and our entertainment business," Hirai said.
He went on to thank the companies who helped release the movie, those in the media who supported the launch, and, "most importantly, the people who have gone out to see the movie."
Hirai opened his statements with a joke, thanking audiences for going to see a "great Sony movie" over the holidays -- the musical remake "Annie."
Times staff writer Paresh Dave contributed to this report.