Reports indicate that Sony Pictures Entertainment is looking into a potential North Korean link in the hacking incident which took down its computers studio-wide last week.
The attack is supposedly related to the studio's Christmas Day release of 'The Interview', a comedy movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. In the movie two celebrity journalists, played by Rogen and Franco, are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The film was criticised by the Pyongyang government as "undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an act of war" in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in June. Threats to perform "merciless retaliation" against the U.S. over the movie also emanated from Pyongyang.
ReCode sources point out that the studio is currently investigating whether the self-proclaimed culprits, the "Guardians of Peace" or #GOP, are North Korean cyberwarriors. Sony's security consultants are "actively exploring the theory that the hack may have been carried out by third parties operating out of China on North Korea’s behalf." Although the link has yet to be confirmed.
The hackers took down the firm's computer system last Monday. Company screens showed a red skull and the phrase "Hacked By #GOP". There were threats to release sensitive data if certain demands were not met. "We already warned you, and this is just a beginning. We continue till our request be met. We've obtained all of your internal data including your secrets and top secrets. If you don't obey us, we'll release the data shown below to the world," the hackers said.
Some indirect evidence may indicate that the start of Sony 'secret' leaks has begun, as high-quality screener copies of several of Sony Pictures' films, including Annie, Fury, Mr. Turner and Still Alice have reached torrent file sites, although this has not been independently confirmed. 'The Interview' does not appear to be one of the movies leaked online, but it remains to be seen whether more Sony movies will be distributed by torrent sites in the days to come. Please find a trailer for the movie, which may have ignited this cyberwarfare incident, below.