Sony Pictures Entertainment Hack

On November 24, 2014, a group of hackers known by the name “Guardians of Peace” (GOP) leaked confidential data from the film studio Sony Pictures Entertainment. The data contained personal information about Sony Pictures employees and their families, e-mails between employees, information about executive salaries at the company, copies of then-unreleased Sony films, and other information. The US-intelligence put the blame on North Korea that denied any responsibility of the attack.

Information Obtained:

A notice letter was issued on December 8, 2014, stating that SPE learned on December 1, 2014, that information about employees that could be personally verified and their dependents may have been procured by unauthorized individuals due to a “brazen cyber-attack”, including names, address, social security numbers and financial information. On December 7, 2014, C-SPAN stated that the hackers stole 47,000 unique Social Security Numbers from the SPE computer network.

The fact that personal data got leaked might not entirely be true because early news reports focused on embarrassing details about Hollywood and film industry business affairs glossed over by the media from electronic files, including private e-mail messages, produced by the computer criminals. The information shown in the e-mails was that Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai pressured Sony Pictures co-chairwoman Amy Pascal to “soften” the assassination scene in the upcoming Sony film The Interview.

Many details relating to the actions of the Sony Pictures executives, including Pascal and Michael Lynton, were also released, in such a way that looked as if it was intended to spur differences between Sony employees.


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