Over the holidays, North Korean hackers who call themselves “Guardians of Peace” hacked into Sony’s database, gaining access to more than 11,000 gigabytes of files. Several Sony titles including Brat Pitt’s October premiered, Fury, as well as the upcoming movies Annie, Still Alice and Mr. Turner are among the films now illegally shared online.
Investigations are underway, but already link the piracy to these particular hackers after it was reported that a North Korean government-controlled website issued statements threatening the filmmakers of Sony’s upcoming film The Interview. The movie premieres Dec. 25.
North Koreans decry the film, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, because it depicts a comical mission to assassinate the North Korean leader and dictator Kim Jong Un.
The hackers, who also go by #GOP, evidently cleaned Sony out. “Every PC in the company is useless and all of the content files have either been stolen or destroyed or locked away,” said one anonymous employee at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
It’s very easy to describe this as an act of cyber warfare, especially when some computer screens showed some shocking images of CEO Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal that appeared to be of the threatening nature. The CEO is seen on top of a scales of justice. How creepy.
Even more alarming is that sensitive corporate files such as the personal data of the actors who’ve worked for the company was also found, and it includes Hollywood names such as Jonah Hill, Cameron Diaz and Angelina Jolie.
While Sony is not officially pointing fingers at anyone (even though their computer screens identify the hackers), it is working on sorting out this “technical” issue.