Hackers claiming to be those that have seriously disrupted Sony Pictures' computer systems in the biggest corporate hack in history posted a message to the heads of the company telling them to cancel the release of film The Interview .
The group also leaked a trove of emails from senior Sony Pictures employees which include private employee information, the phone numbers of actors and the aliases they use when travelling, film budgets and unreleased scripts. It includes the private
information of about 40,000 employees, including home addresses, previous salaries and social security numbers.
The Interview is a North Korea-baiting film that is a reason some have speculated that the country could be involved in the attack.
In a message titled Their Privacy , and written in broken English, hackers said that Sony had refused to give in to its demands to cancel the release of the movie of terrorism. The group signed themselves as From God'sApstls. The
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.
Update: Violent threats prove to be very effective at censorship
17th December 2014. See article
The New York premiere of The Interview, a comedy about the assassination of North Korea's president, has been cancelled amid threats from hackers. A spokesman for the cinema chain due to host the screening said it had been shelved. Hackers targeting Sony
Pictures had threatened to attack US cinemas showing the studio's film.
Calling themselves Guardians of Peace, the hackers mentioned the 9/11 attacks in a recent warning, claiming the world will be full of fear . Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that
time, the hacker group wrote in a message.
A spokesman for Landmark, the cinema chain due to host the New York premiere, confirmed the showing had been cancelled but gave no reason, Reuters news agency reported. Executives from Sony had previously said they would not object if cinemas chose not
to show The Interview.
Update: Hollywood runs out of baddies
18th December 2014. See article
See also The Interview hack scandal could spell end to foreign
Sony has bowed to the demands of North Korean-linked hackers and made the unprecedented step of pulling its film The Interview from cinemas. Sony announced the movie would not be released as planned in America on Christmas Day after threats of
violence by the hackers.
The decision was made after the five biggest cinema chains in the US, operating 20,000 screens between them, said they would not show the comedy, which centres on a plot to assassinate the secretive state's leader Kim Jong-un.
Sony said it had no further global release plans for the film - which had a scheduled UK release date of Feb 6, 2015.
US investigators said it had determined North Korea was behind the devastating cyber attack following weeks of speculation. President Barack Obama said his administration is taking the cyber attack against Sony studios seriously, but urged
cinemagoers not be cowed by the threats.
Many were quick to criticise Sony's decision, calling it a major blow for freedom of expression and warned it could set a dangerous precedent of censorship.
Offsite Comment: US weighs response to film threat
19th December 2014. See article
The White House is treating the cyberattack on Sony Pictures as a legitimate national security matter as the film studio deals with the fallout from its controversial decision to pull The Interview from theaters.
... Read the full article
Update: World Police cower from violent bully
19th December 2014. See article
After Sony yanked North Korean satire The Interview from theaters, several small houses announced plans to show Team America - another film featuring a North Korean leader - in an attempt to spite the hermit regime.
However, Paramount Pictures has now put the kibosh on the screenings - sending out messages barring the cinemas from showing the movie.
One of the theaters, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema said;
Due to to circumstances beyond our control, the TEAM AMERICA 12/27 screening has been cancelled. We apologize & will provide refunds today.
Paramount however has yet to explain their decision to ban cinemas from showing the film.
Team America: World Police features the previous leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il as a singing marionette that gets impaled on a spike and is later revealed to be a space alien North Korea called The Interview and act of war for
portraying the assassination and violent death of its current leader, Kim Jong-un.
Offsite Update: Flimsy evidence
20th December 2014. See The Evidence That North Korea Hacked Sony Is Flimsy
Update: America is about kowtowing to North Korean threats
20th December 2014. See article
Sony made a mistake by axing the comedy The Interview . Speaking after the FBI pinned the blame on North Korea for a massive hack of Sony Pictures, President Barack Obama said:
We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a
documentary that they don't like, or news reports that they don't like.
Or even worse imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.
That's not who we are. That's not what America is about.
Obama said he was sympathetic to Sony's plight but added: I wish they had spoken to me first.
Update: America makes a token gesture about free speech
24th December 2014. See article
In a plot reversal, Sony Pictures will allow The Interview to play in about 200 US cinemas as of Christmas Day, after coming under criticism from President Barack Obama for caving into pressure from North Korea
The Interview was put back into cinemas on Tuesday when Sony Pictures Entertainment announced a limited Christmas Day theatrical release for the comedy that provoked an international incident with North Korea and outrage over its cancelled release.
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton that Seth Rogen's North Korea farce will be in a number of theaters beginning Thursday.
27th December 2014. See article
North Korea called President Barack Obama a monkey and blamed the US for shutting down its Internet amid the hacking row over the comedy The Interview. The country's powerful National Defense Commission, the country's top governing body led
by Kim Jong Un, said that Obama was behind the release of The Interview . It described the movie as illegal, dishonest and reactionary. A spokesman said:
Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.