Sony movies pirated as firm involves FBI, FireEye in ransomware debacle
Network still down after a week; upcoming movies, including ‘Annie’, ‘Still Alice’ show up on torrents
Sony Pictures has retained the services of Mandiant, the cyber-forensics arm of FireEye Inc, to help resurrect its internal network, downed almost a week ago in a ransomware attack, as reports surface of the company's unreleased movies being uploaded to torrent sites.
According to a Sony insider, cited by Reuters, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident as it emerged yesterday that a China-based cyber group backed by North Korea could be responsible for the outage.
According to a report last week by the LA Times, employees at the US-based media unit of Sony Corp were confronted by red skull images and the phrase "Hacked By #GOP," which reportedly stands for Guardians of Peace.
If North Korea is behind the attack, the motive likely involves a forthcoming Sony Pictures movie called "The Interview", a comedy in which two journalists are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Pyongyang articulated its disappointment in a strongly worded letter to UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, in June, describing the film as "undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an act of war".
Cyber security blog hackread.com yesterday claimed 11TB of data had been stolen by the cyber insurgents. A screenshot purporting to be of the "pwned" message, includes the claim "We've obtained all your internal data including your secrets."
Hackread claimed the "secrets" were DVD screener copies of Sony movies and that some of these had already been uploaded online. This was later also reported by The Verge and TechCrunch. Titles reportedly ripped and uploaded to torrent sites include "Annie", "Mr Turner", "Still Alice", "To Write Love on Her Arms" and "Fury".