A recent hack of Sony pictures by a group known as the Guardians of Peace has demanded that Sony "stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the war". Not only is the group's threating war if "the film", presumably The Interview, not be released, but the hack has also released confidential information within Sony itself, including celebrity IDs.
The film in the threat is a reference to The Interview, a film with James Franco and Seth Rogen. In the film, Franco portrays a talk-show host who is recruited by the CIA in order to assassinate the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. Franco and Rogen have gone on Saturday Night Live last weekend and joked about the Sony hack, even showing supposed private and embarrassing pictures of them that have now been leaked onto the Internet. These "fake leaked" photos include a shot of Rogen in nylons, and James Franco asleep on a toilet.
In reality, the hack at Sony has shown several celebrity aliases have now leaked onto the Internet as well. These include Tom Hanks, Jude law, Daniel Craig, Natalie Portman, and Jessica Alba. According to the NY Daily news, their aliases were contained in a folder known as "publicity bibles". Fusion reports that the information contained dummy IDs used to book hotels or car services. For example, Tom Hanks would often use the name "Harry Lauder" or "Johnny Madrid", and the list of celebrities and their false identities is quite lengthy.
In addition to the celebrity aliases, more information has been stolen from the hack and leaked to online forums including Reddit such as passwords, employee private data such as Social Security Numbers, as well as movie clips related to unfinished movies.
Last month, Sony was the victim of hackers, and they brought down Sony Pictures Entertainment's global internal network. Digital Trends reports that the hack forced Sony executives and employees to temporary log off of corporate PCs and potentially heisting internal documents. It also reports that employees are asked to stay away from their corporate PCs, shared Internet networks, and business phones. It certainly looks like this is quite a crippling attack to the company at this present time.
Sony is certainly no stranger to hacks, as the PlayStation Network servers was recently hacked last August. What makes the most recent hacks interesting is the motivation doesn't seem very clear as the message from the Guardians of Peace is listed below, and can be seen here:
"We have already given our clear demand to the management team of Sony, however, they have refused to accept. It seems that you think everything will be well, if you find out the attacker, while no reacting to our demand. We are sending you our warning again. Do carry out our demand if you want to escape us. And, Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the War! You, Sony & FBI, cannot find us. We are perfect as much. The destiny of Sony is totally up to the wise reaction & measure of Sony."
It seems like the Guardians of Peace have a demand whose specifics that they did not list, demanding Sony to remove a movie that they did not mention by name and doesn't mention what type of war will follow. Are they trying to say that this movie presents such bad view of Kim Jong-Un that it will begin war within Korea or the United States?
The hackers sound very confident that no one will find them, which is a definite taunt to both the company and whoever is investigating them. North Korea denies that they were involved in the attack, but calls it "a righteous deed".