On November 22, there were signs that Sony’s computer system had been compromised when skulls appeared on employees’ screens with a message threatening to expose “secrets” from data obtained in a sophisticated hack.
This initially caused crippling computer problems for workers at Sony, who were forced to work with old-fashioned pen and paper to complete their business. “We even fired up our fax machine,” one employee told the LA Times
Sony initially said they were dealing with an “IT matter”, but later acknowledged the hack to staff, calling it a “brazen attack” comprised of “malicious criminal acts”.
A unknown group calling itself #GOP – later identified as Guardians of Peace – claimed it was behind the cyber attack, while the FBI launched an investigation into the case. Their name has been attached to subsequent leaks of information.
Sony execs are now convinced someone who worked for the studio is behind the massive hacking … because no one from the outside could so precisely target the compromising information.
The strong, prevailing view is that the North Koreans are probably involved, but they used someone with intimate knowledge of the Sony email system to laser in on the most embarrassing information.
We’re told the people at Sony who are investigating believe the hackers had intimate knowledge of mail systems and their configurations. They also believe the hackers have knowledge of the internal media distribution systems and the internal IT systems, including human resources and payroll.