Hackers Strike Sony Pictures – Data Held Ransom

Posted by at 7:09 pm on November 24, 2014

Sony Pictures LogoSony Pictures employees were greeted by a message from hackers when they attempted to work this morning, as a group reportedly seized computers all computers in the company. According to the images appearing on the Sony computers, the hacking group referring to itself as #GOP said it would continue until “requests be met.”

It isn’t clear what the demands from #GOP are, but the message indicates that they were previously in contact with Sony Pictures. On top of computers being locked down across the Sony Pictures network, the group says it obtained a number of sensitive documents from the company. If #GOP’s demands aren’t met, it is threatening to release all of the “top secret” information obtained to the public.

Sources told numerous publications that the hacker demand message is appearing on all computers, with different sites reporting different pieces. A source tells The Next Web that “a single server was compromised and the attack was spread from there.” The same source says that everyone was going to work from home as they can’t get on the Internet. Variety’s source says the hack could take as little as a day or as long as three weeks to resolve. The source for Deadline says that Sony Pictures is “down, completely paralyzed.”

Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesperson Jean Guerin told Deadline that the company is “investigating an IT matter.” Reportedly Sony’s IT department told employees to turn off computers and disable Wi-Fi on mobile devices to keep them from connecting to networks.

Clues to the data stolen was made available on five websites in zip files, which a Reddit hacking group is picking through. According to those participating, the data in the zips includes documents referring to files for internal financial documents, passwords, private key files, 1Password databases, SQL files, files that could be related to source code, and many more. The zip contains two text documents that total over 1GB in size when uncompressed to detail all of the the files taken. According to the documents, #GOP refers to the group Guardians of the Peace.

More than 20 Sony Pictures Twitter accounts were hijacked to post a cryptic “Hacked by #GOP” message, indicating that the group was at least able to acquire passwords for the accounts. According to Business2Community, accounts for films like Soul Surfer and Starship Troopers all tweeted out the same message. It appears that Sony Pictures regained access to the accounts, deleting the hacker’s messages afterward.

The hackers gave Sony Pictures until 11PM GMT to answer the demands. No information was presented by the studio that would indicate it acquiesced to #GOP.

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