Self-described Sony hackers want studio to stop showing ‘The Interview’
Hackers claiming to have shut down Sony Pictures’ computer systems last month have released more sensitive corporate documents and demanded that the studio halt the release of the film The Interview, a comedy about an assassination plot against North Korea’s leader.
The message, left by a self-described member of G.O.P., or Guardians of Peace, warned Sony Pictures on Monday to withdraw the film, which will be released widely on December 25 but has been shown in a handful of private screenings.
“Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the war,” the group said in a statement riddled with poor grammar that was posted Monday on the website Github. “You, Sony & FBI cannot find us.”
Though the statement does not actually mention The Interview by name, the film has been called “an act of war” by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The comedy stars actors James Franco and Seth Rogen, who play TV journalists enlisted by the CIA to murder the North Korean leader under the guise of doing an interview.
Sony has been working with the FBI to find the source of last month’s cyber attack.
North Korea denied any involvement in the hack after it was previously rumored that Sony Pictures planned to pin the blame on the country’s government. Bloomberg reported over the weekend that cybersecurity experts have determined that the hackers used IP addresses in Thailand to pull off at least some of the attack, including leaking Sony Pictures documents.
The statement on Monday was posted along with a new set of Sony Pictures documents that include a list of aliases used by celebrities in trying to avoid detection at hotels and other public places.
The newly-released documents also revealed an e-mail that seems to have been sent by the hackers to Sony Pictures executives just three days before last month’s cyber attack. Mashable sorted through the latest batch of documents to find the e-mail, which was sent Nov. 21 to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, chairwomanAmy Pascal and a handful of other company executives. The message contains jumbled English and vague references, but it implies that Sony Pictures has caused “great damage” and that the hackers are looking for compensation. “Pay the damage, or Sony Pictures will be bombarded as a whole,” the e-mail reads.
Last week, the hackers sent e-mails to Sony Pictures employees threatening them and their families and promising to bring about the “collapse” of the company. After shutting down the company’s computer system as part of the hack last month, the hackers have sporadically released sensitive company documents revealing anything from salary information for thousands of Sony Pictures employees to thousands of social security numbers and other personal details pertaining to employees, including celebrities such as actor Sylvester Stallone and director Judd Apatow.
Meanwhile, another Sony (SNE) entity was recently hit in a separate hacking incident. A group calling itself the “Lizard Squad” claimed responsibility for shutting down the Sony Playstation store website over the weekend.