The Sony Pictures hack story continues to have lasting ramifications, with the White House now claiming that it presents a “serious” national security threat.

Suspicions have been raised that North Korea was responsible for the attack, an accusation that has been denied by the secretive nation. The leak led to the release of upcoming movies on pirate sites, as well as executive emails and confidential information on Sony Corp employees.

White House: Sony Hack Is National Security Matter

Other U.S. companies are frantically improving their cyber defenses following the attack, which completely paralyzed Sony computer systems, with staff told not to use their devices.

Film controversy

North Korea took offence to Seth Rogen comedy The Interview, which provides a possible motive for the attack. The movie tells the story of an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by two journalists enlisted by the CIA. In the latest escalation of the crisis, the release of the $42 million movie has been cancelled after the 5 largest cinema groups in the U.S. refused to screen the film following threats from cyber criminals.

On a slightly less serious note, certain personal relationships within the Hollywood A-List have also been damaged by the email leak. Gossip websites went wild over an email sent by Sony Entertainment co-chairwoman Amy Pascal, in which she ridiculed the adoption of black babies by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie. It is hard to see the hackers aiming to cause anything more than personal embarrassment with such an action.

North Korea’s ongoing investigation for Sony attack

There has been no official blaming of North Korea for the attack. On Thursday White House spokesman Josh Earnest declined to blame any specific nation, but he did state that the hack is the subject of daily briefings at the highest level.

The hack is still being investigated by the FBI, with significant concern from the U.S. government. Concerns have been raised by the sophistication of the attack, and both private companies and government agencies are presumably working to better protect their systems, lest their snide email exchanges be released into the public eye.