The notorious cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has been one of the most embarrassing in the history for the major organization. The hacking continues to cripple the company as confidential information like emails, employees’ salaries, leaked films, big stars salary and a lot more are selectively published by anybody having the access of the hacker’s dump.
The following is the everyday revelations of the cyber-attack and will continue to keep it up to date as more revelations unfold.
1st Day – November 24, 2014 – Monday
From Sony Pictures Entertainment headquarters in Culver City, the usual office days started. Early that morning, the first sign of that cyber-attack manifested when an image of a skull with skeletal fingers pop-up to the entire computer screens of Sony Pictures’ employees, along with a message warning that says “This is just the beginning.” According to the hackers, “we’ve obtained all your internal data,” and give a warning that if Sony Pictures will not submit to their demands, they will be releasing company’s “top secrets.”
Mike Fleming of Deadline breaks the new at 10:50 AM that Sony Pictures Entertainment has been hacked. Emails and phone services are paralyzed as well as all their computer systems.
“Things have come to standstill at Sony today, after the computers in New York and around the world were infiltrated by a hacker,” Fleming reported. “As a precaution, computers in Los Angeles were shut down while the corporation deals with the breach. It has basically brought the whole global corporation to an electronic stand still.”
The hackers call themselves “Guardians of Peace”, they have stolen 100 terabytes of data from Sony Pictures’ servers. To have clear perception, 10 terabytes can carry the whole printed collection of the Library of Congress.
2nd Day – November 25, 2014 – Tuesday
All the computers of Sony Pictures Entertainment in New York, Culver City and globally are still shut-down. Jean Guerin, the spokesperson of SPE said “We are investigating an IT matter.” Almost all news organizations are reporting that the company has suffered a major security breach, however, the extent of the breach has not yet been known. BBC figures the expert calculating that this hack is less damaging compared to the hacking of Sony PlayStation 3 years ago. “The hack on PlayStation was massive, expensive and absolutely embarrassing.”
Head of consumer electronics research at Euromonitor Wee Teck Loo told BBC, “This time around, I don’t believe that there will be massive damage, save for Sony’s ego, even if the hack is real.”
3rd Day – November 26, 2014 – Wednesday
A day before Thanksgiving, employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment are still working without emails, voice-mail and computers.
4th Day – November 27, 2014 – Thursday
Five films of Sony Pictures Entertainment are dumped in the online file-sharing hubs including the 4 which are not yet released to the theaters. In 1 week, Fury of Brad Pitt that is already out in theaters is illegally downloaded in over 1 million times along with Annie the remake, To love on Her Arms, Mr. Turner and Still Alice, which are soon to be released are also illegally downloaded.
5th Day – November 28, 2014 – Friday
Sony Pictures suspected North Korea to be responsible for the cyber-attack as vengeance for comedy film “The Interview” regarding a blundering plot about assassination of the Prime Minister of North Korea Kim Jong-un. The North Korean website has called the “The Interview” ‘an evil act of provocation’.
6th Day – November 29, 2014 – Saturday
Sony Pictures computer systems are still down.
7th Day – November 30, 2014 – Sunday
More and more reports and speculations are coming out pointing North Korea to be the culprit of the attack.
8th Day – December 1, 2014 – Monday
Sony Pictures’ pre-bonus salaries for their 17 top executives have leaked. More than 6,000 past and present employees’ salaries have also leaked. Numerous websites including Deadline have published the executive figures.
Sony Pictures hired FBI’s cyber security firm to help them investigate the hacking. FBI confirmed that they have started their own investigation. Laura Eimiller, the FBI spokesperson said that “The FBI is working with our interagency partners to investigate the recently reported cyber intrusion at Sony Pictures Entertainment. The targeting of public and private sectors 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.”
9th Day – December 2, 2014 – Tuesday
A week and 2 days after the attack, in response to the salary leakage, Sony Pictures heads Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton issued a company-wide alert to the employees regarding the attack. “It is now apparent that a large amount of confidential Sony pictures Entertainment data has been stolen by the cyber attackers, including personnel information and business documents. This is the result of a brazen attack on our company, our employees and other information are malicious criminal acts, and we are working closely with law enforcement… while we are not yet sure of the full scope of information that the attackers have or might have release, we unfortunately have to ask you to assume that information about you in the possession of the company might be in their possession. While we would hope that common decency might prevent disclosure, we of course cannot assume that… We can’t overemphasize out appreciation to all of you for your extraordinary hard work, commitment and resolve.”
10th Day – December 3, 2014 – Wednesday
The collection of Sony employees’ mocking detractors of Adam Sandler movies are extracted from a large dump of the stolen data. Cache contains PDF files presenting passwords and visa cards of the cast and crew members, which includes Jonah Hill and Angelina Jolie who have been working on Sony films. The film budgets along with confidential contracts re also stolen. The user names and passwords of the Sony executives have also been stolen and included into the dump files. There are some information that were published in Fringe Media sites, giving concerns with the mainstream venues for both digital and prints regarding the proper use of the stolen materials.
The 25-page work complaints of employees were published. Technology website re/code reports that Sony Pictures is fighting back with the use of hundreds of computers along ASIA to execute the “denial service” attacks on their websites where the stolen data were made available.
Sony Pictures Entertainment had released a statement that says “The investigation continues into this very sophisticated cyber-attack.” They also stated that the report by re/code saying that North Korea has been recognized as the culprit of the hacking is “not accurate.”
The cyber-criminal claimed a new corporate victim; Deloitte, which is a giant consulting and auditing firm. When the hackers from Sony attack dumped the salaries of 30,000 for their employees in Pastebin, which is an anonymous posting site.
11th Day – December 4, 2014 – Thursday
Associated Press reported that there are some cyber security experts telling that they have discovered “striking similarities between the code used in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and attacks blamed on North Korea which targeted South Korean companies and government agencies last year.”
12th Day – December 5, 2014 – Friday
“Guardians of Peace” emailed the employees of Sony Pictures a threat declaring to hurt them together with their families if they will not sign the statement to repudiate the company. “Many things beyond imagination will happen at many places of the world. Our agent find themselves act in necessary places. Please sign your name to object the false of the company at the email address below if you don’t want to suffer damage. If you don’t, not only you but your family will be in danger.
13th Day – December 6, 2014 – Saturday
At Saturday Night Live, James Franco mocks the hackers of Sony Pictures during his opening dialogue. “Some pretty crazy happened this week. I have this movie called The Interview coming out t Sony and this week Sony Studious got all their computers hacked. This is true. These hackers have leaked real personal information about everybody that works at Sony. Social security numbers, e-mails, and I know eventually they’re going to start leaking out stuff about me. So before you hear it from someone else, I thought it would be better if you hear it from me. Soon you’ll know that my email is [email protected] My password is LittleJamesyCutiePie — and this is all just a real violation of my personal life.”
Kevin Mandia, chief of Mandiant reported to Michael Lynton, the CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment that the scope of the attack is different compared to what they have responded from the past, since the purpose of the hacking attack is to destroy the company and reveal the confidential data to the public. According to Mandia, the attack is well planned by a group that is well organized.
14th Day – December 7, 2014 – Sunday
North Korea has denied their involvement with the hacking as well as praising them as “righteous deed.”
15th Day – December 8, 2014 – Monday
Guardians of Peace posted a letter to a file-sharing website warning Sony Pictures to stop showing terrorism movie as it can break the regional peace that may cause war. In the letter, they also deny the responsibility of the Friday’s threat for Sony Pictures Entertainment’s employees and families. There are lots of unclear demands of the hackers posted in GitHub along with the release of celebrity aliases.
16th Day – December 9, 2014 – Tuesday
Pascal’s emails revealed! Gawker published an exchange of emails between Pascal and Rudin regarding Angelina Jolie, from which he have written “I’m not destroying my career over a minimally talented spoiled brat.” This issue is the dispute over Director David Fincher, which Rudin wanted him to control his fil regarding Apple Founder Steve Jobs, instead of working on Angelina Jolie’s Cleopatra.
17th Day – December 10m 2014 – Wednesday
Email exchange of Pascal and producer Scott Rudin regarding the “favorite movies” of President Obama. All of them were black-themed released and an set off fires about racism accusations.
18th Day – December 11, 2014 – Thursday
Rudin asked for an apology with his remarks regarding President Obama. He told Deadline those private emails between colleagues and friends which are written without much sensitivity, even if the content is meant to be a joke may result into offence even if not intended. “I made a series of remarks that were meant only to be funny, but in the cold light of day, they are in fact thoughtless and insensitive — and not funny at all. To anybody I’ve offended, I’m profoundly and deeply sorry, and I regret and apologize for any injury they might have caused.”
‘The Interview’ premiers at the Ace Hotel’s theater in Los Angeles with tight security. Seth Rogen takes the opportunity to thanks Amy Pascal on stage “for having the balls to make this movie” before the film started.
MPAA released their very first comment regarding the hack; “We have no comment at this time. We’re not involved.”
Pascal apologized and break the silence regarding the racially remarks in a private email hacked. On the first interview after the hacking incidence, she told Mike Fleming of Deadline why she has not spoken earlier; “I didn’t want to talk before. I didn’t want to make this about me. Everyone at this company has been violated and nobody here deserved this. Then the most hurtful email came out…I’m so disappointed in myself, that I ever would have had such a lapse in my thinking. Of all the things I thought might be said about me, this was the last one, and I feel awful.”
19th Day – December 12, 2014 – Friday
BuzzFeed, Gawker and Bloomberg News reported that the stolen data hacked includes medical records of Sony Pictures’ employees. The conditions listed on that record are cirrhosis of the liver, cancer and premature births. This leaking HR spreadsheet includes the heath conditions, medical costs and birthdays of 34 employees together with their spouses and children. However, there is no published information regarding the names listed on that document.
20th Day – December 13, 2014 – Saturday
The cyber criminals released the 7th large dump of files leaving a promise of “Christmas Gift” they will bring Sony Pictures “into the worst state”.
21st Day – December 14, 2014 – Sunday
The early version of the script for the next James Bond movie is one of the latest batches of stolen data to be released. Danjaq and MGM productions, which own the rights for the script said “will take all necessary steps to protect their rights against the persons who stole the screenplay, and against anyone who makes infringing uses of it or attempts to take commercial advantage of confidential property it knows to be stolen.”
The theft of this MGM property reflects that Sony Pictures is not alone to deal with the effect of hacking.
MPAA issued their first public statement regarding the hacking incident; “Obviously this is a very difficult time for Sony. Sony is not just a valued member of our association family, but they are friends and colleagues and we feel for them personally. From the highest levels of our organization working with the highest levels of theirs, we are doing anything and everything that Sony believes could be helpful and will continue to do so.”
22nd Day December 15, 2014 – Monday
Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Pictures had a speech at the “all-hands” town hall meeting in Culver City studio’s lot telling the employees regarding the ongoing investigation that is handled by the highest level of FBI and promised that hackers could not bring down the company.