While the rest of the world slept, lulled into complacency by a large, carbohydrate-heavy meal and MST3K reruns, this weekend an anonymous cabal that calls itself the Guardians Of Peace was busy hacking into Sony Pictures’ computer network. The attack actually began a week ago, when computer screens at Sony’s corporate headquarters froze and were replaced by an image of a red skeleton and the words “Hacked by #GOP,” along text threatening to leak company secrets if the hackers’ demands were not met.
Those demands apparently included seeing Annie early, as over the weekend, while Sony’s computers were still disabled, five new and upcoming Sony films, including Fury, Mr. Turner, Still Alice, To Write Love On Her Arms, and the aforementioned musical rags-to-riches tale, were stolen from company servers and uploaded onto file-sharing sites. (Variety notes, with a hint of bitterness, that while Fury was a hit among online pirates, the remaining titles failed to move unpaid units.)
But rather than blaming the whole thing on a disgruntled employee looking to extend their Thanksgiving break, Re/Code reports that the company is investigating a North Korean connection in the attacks. The company speculates it may have been hacked as revenge for Sony’s upcoming The Interview, which North Korea referred to as an “act of war” earlier this year. That sounds as plausible as anything else (which is to say, not plausible at all), and Sony says that the North Korean plot is just one of several potential culprits it is investigating with the help of two private security firms. Nevertheless, it should be noted that somebody at the CIA probably just got an email asking if Kim Jong-un is a big Mike Leigh fan.