Sony Pictures Cyberattack
In November 2014, Sony Pictures faced a devastating cyberattack, or cyberassault, that exposed data vulnerabilities of one of the top entertainment companies in the world. The Japanese multinational corporation was targeted through a hacker group known as “Guardians Peace.” Sensitive data was leaked, and it was thought to be in response to “The Interview,” a movie starring James Franco and Seth Rogan that depicted the assassination of Kim Jong-un. Countless emails and sensitive data were leaked resulting in absolute embarrassment from the company. In the end, North Korean hacker, Park Jin Hyok, was charged by the U.S. government.
June 25th– The North Korean government denounces the release of the movie, “The Interview,” because of its graphic depiction of the assassination of Kim Jong-un. They state that the film is “undisguised terrorism” and is a threat.
November 21st– Sony receives a suspicious email stating that they are about to be the victim to a damaging attack.
November 24th– A malware known as Wiper Malware has infected many Sony computer systems. Servers and hard drives have been erased. Sony attempts to downplay the whole cyberattack to the public in order to prevent panic and too much attention.
November 27th– “Guardians of Peace,” a group who has taken credit for the attack, begins to release highly confidential information owned by Sony. Digital copies of unreleased movies are also being leaked onto the Internet.
December 7th– North Korea denies responsibility for the attack and states that a fellow supporter may have taken this into their own hands as it was meant to happen and well deserved.
December 9th & 10th– Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal has her emails leaked that show a conversation with a colleague. In those emails, they exchange racial slurs against President Barack Obama.
December 18th– Sony Pictures is given the green light to release the move, “The Interview,” as long as the Kim Jong-un death scene is removed.
December 25th– “The Interview” hits theaters.
What Was The Result?
Experts were almost certain that the hackers were associated with North Korea. In 2018, Park Jin Hyuk, a North Korean computer programmer, was charged by the U.S. over both the Sony Pictures and WannaCry cyberattacks. Park was allegedly also a part of an attack aimed at AMC employees as well as Lockheed Martin and the Bank of Bangladesh. Park apparently had numerous emails linked to him in order to create different aliases as outlined by U.S. officials. He was also hiding under the cover of a company known as “Korean Expo Joint Venture” in which free email services were originating from. Certain clues found in these emails helped experts track down the cyberattacker and his location. The chances of Park seeing the inside of a U.S. courtroom are very slim considering he is based in North Korea and there is not much contact with that country either. This is just a prime example of how vulnerable a company can be to a cyberattack.
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