On Nov 24th, Sony Pictures Entertainment was the victim of a massive cyber attack in which North Korea may have been involved according to anonymous sources. The malware used in this attack was a wiper-virus that deleted the studios internal network. FBI analysts say that the virus contained North Korean language code and it is similar to the attack that wiped the computers of South Korean banks and broadcasters in March 2013.
In June, North Korea threatened that anyone who had anything to to with the movie “The Interview”, in which the CIA plots to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un, will be “mercilessly destroyed”, thus leading the investigators to consider North Korea as a prime suspect. The attack on the studio occurred one month before the scheduled release of this movie. Despite the threats made and the abundance of evidence linking this attack to his country, a spokesman of the North Korea’s U.N mission issued a statement to the BBC saying “The hostile forces are relating everything to the DPRK (North Korea). I kindly advise you to just wait and see.”
Sony Pictures has suffered massive losses during this attack which include, a decrease in stocks of 1.1 percent in Tokyo, personnel files, business documents and five movies, which later were leaked on file-sharing websites. Among these five movies were “Annie”, a remake after the musical with the same name from 1982, “Fury”, a Brad Pitt drama that was in cinemas in October, “Still Alice” and “Mr. Turner”, and “To Write Love on Her Arms”.
“Annie” was scheduled to hit the big screens on Dec 19th as one of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation’s major holiday. Despite the attack on the corporation, Sony has made a statement in which they released the cast for the 24th James Bond movie, scheduled to be released in November 2015.
Eight days after the attack, the studio is struggling to get back on its feet and the corporation issued cease-and-desist letters to all the file-sharing websites where the movies were leaked, asking them to remove the links from where they can be downloaded, while the movie “Fury” was downloaded 500.000 times from one website alone since the attack. Sony Corporation’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Lynton and co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Amy Pascal call this attack a “malicious criminal act” and issued a statement in which they revealed that they are working with law enforcement to get to the bottom of it.