Hackers Release More Data, Promise Sony ‘Christmas Gift’

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Follow on: Google +

The latest data dump from Sony Pictures’ servers includes an internal presentation on video site Crackle

Hackers have released a seventh cache of data taken from the servers of Sony Pictures, and promised the company a “Christmas gift”.

The latest data release includes an internal presentation on Grouper, a video site acquired by Sony in 2006 and subsequently renamed Crackle. The hack, which took place on November 24 , has resulted in the release of salary information on top executives and well-known Hollywood actors, embarrassing emails, an early script for an upcoming James Bond film and detailed plans for the “Spider-Man” franchise. The hack also temporarily crippled internal systems at the company.

Hacker, programmer, cyber crime, keyboard, computer © scyther5, Shutterstock 2014‘Christmas gift’

In a note accompanying the latest data dump on file-sharing site Pastebin, the hackers promised more to come.

“We are preparing for you a Christmas gift,” read the statement from the hacker group, called Guardians of Peace, or GOP. “The gift will be larger quantities of data. And it will be more interesting. The gift will surely give you much more pleasure, and put Sony Pictures into the worst state.”

The group solicited requests for forthcoming data releases.

Over the weekend, The Times reported that the hack had disrupted Sony Pictures movie shoots, as the firm was having trouble processing payments, but Sony denied this claim.

Eon Pictures, producers of the James Bond films, said in a message on the official 007 website that it had become aware of the leak of an “early version” of the screenplay for the film Spectre, planned for release in November of next year.

“Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Danjaq LLC will take all necessary steps to protect their rights against the persons who stole the screenplay, and against anyone who makes infringing uses of it or attempts to take commercial advantage of confidential property it knows to be stolen,” the company stated.

North Korean link?

The motivation for the hack remains unclear, but in an earlier message on Pastebin the hacking group criticised Sony for an upcoming film, The Interview, which depicts an assassination plot against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

This, along with other indications, such as the fact that some of the code used in the hack was compiled in Korean, has led some to speculate that the GOP has North Korean links. The North Korean government itself has denied direct involvement, but has also demanded The Interview be banned, and called the hack a “righteous deed”.

Are you a security pro? Try our quiz!

Read also :