The company is certainly no stranger to security issues but this week has been particularly miserable even by Sony’s ‘high’ standards.
Hacked on Monday by a group calling themselves the Guardians of Peace, Sony Pictures’ systems remain down today, a sign of the situation’s gravity.
While the attack appears to be aimed at punishing Sony for its actions in the past, reports suggest that the attackers also made off with an estimated 11,000 gigabytes of files. Seriously upping the ante, the hackers warned Sony that “sensitive” data would be released into the wild if their demands were not met.
A thread on Reddit has been piecing together details of what information could have been obtained and it’s not pretty. Documents containing passport and visa information for cast and crew working on Sony movies, Outlook inboxes, documents detailing the company’s IT systems plus accounting and research information appear to be just the tip of what could be a gigantic data iceberg.
Since this is Sony Pictures it will come as no surprise that video files are also reported as being part of the hackers’ booty. Interestingly the first reports detailed pirated TV shows which may have been downloaded by Sony staff.
Adventure Time-2x04a-Power Animal.avi
Adventure Time Her Parents.avi
Adventure Time The Silent King.avi
Adventure Time-2x09b-Susan Strong.avi
Adventure Time-2x11a-Belly of the Beast.avi
But while Sony desperately tried to get its systems back online and figure out what had been taken, mid-week and within minutes of each other, DVD screener copies of four Sony movies began appearing online. Making matters worse, just one has been officially released in the United States. They are:
‘Still Alice‘ starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin (US date: Jan 16, 2015)
‘Mr Turner‘ starring Timothy Spall. (US date: Dec 19, 2014)
‘Annie‘ starring Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. (US date: Dec 19, 2014)
‘Fury‘ starring Brad Pitt (US date: Oct 17, 2014)
In the absence of any useful comment from Sony there’s little to officially link the leaks with Monday’s hack attack. However, a page on popular torrent site 1337x reveals that a user uploaded these and another upcoming Sony movie (‘To Write Love on Her Arms’ – US release date March 2015) on Wednesday or Thursday with a naming convention highlighting Sony.
While all of the leaked titles are proving popular, the Sony-watermarked ‘Fury’ is way out in front and currently the second most downloaded movie among Pirate Bay users.
Finally, among the thousands of files taken from Sony there are other items of interest to piracy watchers. The files detailed below appear to relate to the automatic content recognition systems operated by anti-piracy company Audible Magic.
Whether more Sony movies will appear online in the days to come remains to be seen, but the fallout from this week’s hack will send shockwaves through the company for months to come.