Magazine article Screen International

The Sony Hacking Crisis: Timeline

Magazine article Screen International

The Sony Hacking Crisis: Timeline

Article excerpt

The day after Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal issues an apology for the content of leaked emails, Screen charts the timeline of events in the hacking crisis.

Monday, 24 November

It is revealed that Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has been subject to hacking. The studio temporarily bans some staff from using their computers.

A group calling itself #GOP - Guardians of Peace - claims responsibility for the attack. The group claims: "We've obtained all your internal data including your secrets", and threatens to release the data if the company fails to comply with its terms.

Tuesday, 25 November

A spokesperson for SPE, Jean Guerin, comments: "Sony Pictures Entertainment experienced a system disruption, which we are working diligently to resolve."

Thursday, 27 November

Some of Sony's new and upcoming films, which have been acquired by hackers, begin appearing on peer-to-peer sharing websites.

Saturday, 29 November

It is reported that Sony is investigating a link between the hackers and North Korea.

Links are drawn to SPE's upcoming film The Interview, in which two celebrity journalists get an interview with Kim Jong-un and are instructed by the CIA to assassinate him.

In June 2014 the executive director of the Centre for Korean-American Peace, Kim Myong-Chol, had spoken critically about the film: "There is a special irony in the storyline as it shows the desperation of the US government".

Sunday, 30 November

It is discovered that at least five new Sony films have been put online, including Annie, Mr Turner and Fury.

The latter is downloaded nearly a million times within three days, according to the piracy-tracking company Excipio. The Interview (which premiered on Dec 11) has not been leaked.

Sony calls the theft "a criminal matter" in a statement.

Monday, 1 December

The FBI joins the investigation, saying in a statement: "The targeting of public and private sector computer networks remains a significant threat, and the FBI will continue to identify, pursue, and defeat individuals and groups who pose a threat in cyberspace."

On the same day, the salaries of 6,000 SPE employees, including those of 17 executives earning salaries of more than $1m, are leaked in a spreadsheet. It includes personal details including home addresses.

Tuesday, 2 December

SPE offers identity-theft protection and credit monitoring services to staff whose data has been made public. …

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