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PR Specialist: Sony Cyberattack Threat To All Of Hollywood

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) -- Hollywood is on high alert as the Sony cyberattack by North Korea continues to reverberate worldwide.

The Obama administration blamed the North Korean regime to be behind the cyberattack that forced Sony to cancel the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy “The Interview” and also released embarrassing emails of several Sony executives.

Public relations specialist Ross Johnson, founder of Johnson Public Relations, says that this attack is a threat to all of Hollywood.

“Absolutely. One thing that you see is when you attack a target, you see how much publicity you get when you go after an entertainment giant,” Johnson told CBSDC. “This is the mother of all hacks because it specifically involves Hollywood and celebrities.”

During his end-of-the-year press conference on Friday, President Barack Obama said that the U.S. will respond “proportionately” to the cyberattack.

“We will respond proportionately and we’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose,” Obama said.

The president also called it a mistake for Sony to pull “The Interview” from theaters ahead of the Christmas release date.

“We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship right in the United States. Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they don’t like or news reports that they don’t like,” Obama said. “Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibility needs to be offended. That’s not who we are, that’s not what America’s about.”

North Korea has denied hacking the studio, and on Saturday proposed a joint investigation with the U.S., warning of "serious" consequences if Washington said no. The White House sidestepped the idea, said it was confident that North Korea was responsible and urged North Korean government officials to "admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused."

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