FBI Will Brief Sony Staff in Wake of Hacking Attack

Sony Pictures Entertainment will host cyber security briefings by the FBI on its Culver City lot this week as well as an “all hands” meeting Friday to discuss a recent hack attack that has left the studio reeling.

In a note to staffers, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said the studio is continuing to work with law enforcement officials on their investigation into the cyber attack that has led to the leak of internal documents, film budgets, staff salaries and the personal information of thousands of employees. A group calling itself the GOP or the “Guardians of Peace” has taken credit for the attack.

“I know it is unsettling that we have been the target of such an attack, but I want to assure you all that we have the recognized experts working on this matter and looking out for our security,” Lynton wrote.

His message went out to staffers after the GOP posted a message online on Monday that warned Sony to stop “immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the war.” The movie in question is believed to be “The Interview,” a satire about an assassination attempt on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. The country may have played a role in the attack.

Hackers also released five of the studio’s films including such upcoming titles as “Annie,” “Still Alice,” and “Fury,” which is currently in theaters.

Here’s the full text of the email:

Hello everyone.

Over the weekend, you should have received my note sharing cyber security expert Kevin Mandia’s thoughts on this unprecedented and highly sophisticated attack on us. I know it is unsettling that we have been the target of such an attack, but I want to assure you all that we have the recognized experts working on this matter and looking out for our security.

As you know, the FBI is the lead government agency investigating the cyber-attack on SPE. They have dedicated their senior staff to this global investigation.

This morning, our senior leadership team met with the lead investigators, who will keep Sony management informed. In the next day or so, your leadership teams will be arranging in-person meetings where they will share the latest developments. Please use this opportunity to bring up any questions or concerns you have.

Additionally, the FBI will be on-hand on Wednesday, December 10, in Culver City for employee cybersecurity awareness briefings. Details on these sessions will be forthcoming.

Furthermore, should you have any relevant information related to the investigation, or if you think you may be the victim of an additional personal cybercrime that is related to this attack, the FBI has established a dedicated email that you can contact: suspicious@ic.fbi.gov.

Finally, on Friday, we will have an “All Hands” meeting on the Lot in order to brief everyone. For those of you not in Culver City, we will make a video of the meeting available to all employees. Details for the “All Hands” meeting will be forthcoming.

Thank you again for all of your hard work and resourcefulness at this difficult time.

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