North Korean charged over Sony hacking

The US justice department has charged a computer programmer working on behalf of the North Korean government with the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014.

The programmer, identified as Park Jin Hyok, has also been charged over the massive Wannacry ransomware attack last year and a $US81 million ($A113 million) theft from a bank in Bangladesh.

Assistant US attorney general John Demers said on Thursday it was one of the most complex cyber criminal investigations ever conducted by the department.

The US government has previously said that North Korea was responsible for the cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which resulted in the disclosure of tens of thousands of leaked emails and other material.

In recent years, the justice department has charged hackers from China, Iran and Russia in the hopes of publicly shaming other countries for sponsoring cyber attacks on US corporations.

In 2014, the Obama administration charged five Chinese military hackers with a series of digital break-ins at American companies, and last year, the justice department charged Russian hackers with an intrusion at internet giant Yahoo.

US officials believed the Sony hack was retribution for The Interview, a comedy film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco which centred on a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-Un.

Sony cancelled the release of the film amid threats to moviegoers.

Australian Associated Press