Hackers Threaten Sony Employees in New Email: ‘Your Family Will Be in Danger’

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Hackers have struck again at Sony Pictures Entertainment, threatening employees of the studio in a new email obtained by Variety.

The group taking credit for the hack, which calls itself “Guardians of Peace” and first hacked Sony on Nov. 24, said it planned to eradicate all of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The author of the email wrote in English and made only a single demand.

“Please sign your name to object the false (sic) 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.”

Employees were told to turn off their handheld devices after receiving the message, according to insiders at Sony.

“We are aware of the situation and are working with law enforcement,” a spokesman said in a statement.

On Thursday, North Korea denied its involvement in the ongoing data breach after media outlets said the attack was a response to Sony’s new movie “The Interview,” in which Seth Rogen and James Franco attempt to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

“Linking the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea) to the Sony hacking is another fabrication targeting the country,” an unidentified North Korean diplomat told Voice of America on Thursday. “My country publicly declared that it would follow international norms banning hacking and piracy.”

Over the past two weeks, Sony Pictures Entertainment has been plagued by headaches stemming from the massive security breach. Personal information of its 3,803 employees has leaked online along with a spreadsheet purportedly listing salaries of top studio executives, and five of the studio’s films, including “Annie” and “Still Alice,” turned up on the Internet, where they have been widely pirated.

The security breach dates back to Nov. 24, when Sony Pictures employees logging on to the company’s network were greeted with an image of a skeleton and a message that said, “Hacked by #GOP.”

Sony has been working with law enforcement officials, including the FBI, to investigate the cause of the data breach and has hired security firm FireEye and its Mandiant unit to look into the incident.

The FBI released a statement following Friday’s email: “The FBI is aware of threatening emails that have been received by some employees at Sony Pictures Entertainment. We continue to investigate this matter in order to identify the person or group responsible for the recent attack on the Sony Pictures network. Recent events underscore the persistence and maliciousness of harmful cyber criminals, and the FBI will continue to identify and apprehend those who pose a threat in cyberspace.”

Read the “Guardians of Peace” email in full:

I am the head of GOP who made you worry.

Removing Sony Pictures on earth is a very tiny work for our group which is a worldwide organization. And what we have done so far is only a small part of our further plan. It’s your false if you think this crisis will be over after some time. All hope will leave you and Sony Pictures will collapse. This situation is only due to Sony Pictures. Sony Pictures is responsible for whatever the result is. Sony Pictures clings to what is good to nobody from the beginning. It’s silly to expect in Sony Pictures to take off us. Sony Pictures makes only useless efforts. One beside you can be our member.

Many things beyond imagination will happen at many places of the world. Our agents 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.

Nobody can prevent us, but the only way is to follow our demand. If you want to prevent us, make your company behave wisely.

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  1. I enjoy the details on your web site. Thanks!.

  2. Charlie says:

    North Korea’s tyrants should not be allowed to succeed in intimidating us. Release this movie. If not in theaters, then online. Now more than ever the world needs a good laugh. And what could be funnier than the sight of Kim Jong Un’s head exploding?

  3. America First! says:

    Dear Worldbeat99 …you are an idiot. This is a COMEDY! I am sick and tired of all of these fools threatening people. Everyone knows that the North Koreans have no since of humor … that is why every photo is seemingly black and white, they aren’t … but the country is so drab and unhappy it appears they won’t hold color. So screw these “Guardians” IF they are in North Korea they probably want out and what better place but colorful Culver City, So don’t feed into their foolishness … be America strong!

  4. worldbeat99 says:

    Honestly, what was Sony thinking when they greenlighted a movie assassinating a North Korean dictator. Didn’t they anticipate this kind your over-reaction? Think of the Dutch comic who’s life was threatened because he made fun of Muslims in a comic strip. This is the world we live in. Sony should have known North Korean dictators would be offended as they lack a sense of humor. So I think Sony has to take some responsibility for its current woes. My two cents.

  5. Wouldnt it be funny if they used SONY’s old rootkit code to do this? Maybe someone found a copy of it?
    When they say the enemy could be beside you do they mean SONY staff, Protesters, Barack Obama or the US Congress? Its hard to tell who is the biggest communist sympathizer any more. Obviously this was done by North Korea no? By the way Obamacare is pure discrimination. When you attack a group of people based on gender, race, sex preference, skin color or religion thats discrimination isnt it? Isnt that what Obamacare does when it fines people? Uninsured people should be a protected class not treated like criminals. Anyway I am no fan of overseas hackers or SONY lately but obviously someone doesnt want “The Interview” released thats what they mean by object the false of the company isnt it?

  6. Caleb Brightfer says:

    Threatening the families of Sony employees seems to be a very North Korean thing to do. The government of North Korea puts whole families into prison camps because one of them dared to watch a videotaped South Korean soap opera.

  7. sage says:

    that’s their demand? ” sign your name to object the false of the company” what does that even mean?? sign their name to agree that the company will no longer exist? that’s just stupid, the company is worth billions, do the hackers really expect them to just give in? wow.

  8. Golditberg says:

    When a government attacks, or implements a position of attacking, innocent people because of personal/political reasons, then that is terror. Pure terrorism.

    Government need to focus on saving lives, not creating a bunch of whores out of other people who are used to threaten innocent people. This is the current status quo with government worldwide, attack people with government resources even when they are innocent simply to please the minds of a few deranged people. Government power must be sacred, not a whore house tool.

  9. teire says:

    oh, it’s north korea.

  10. beveryafraid says:

    And no more Korean BBQ for you if you don’t sign, all restaurant will be notify at once if you enter to not serve, yes.

  11. Ted Brown says:

    “It’s your false if you think this crisis will be over after some time.” – Russian phonetics, tells you who it is everytime.

    • mehh says:

      Was leaning towards that direction of thinking, myself. My first impression was a russian or similar language speaker using an online translator such as google. I have a couple nonenglish speaking russian friends who I converse back and forth with using such sites (my russian is very limited atm) and on both sides we often get odd misplaced words such as the above letter.

      Perhaps the hacker(s) are russian/Eastern European and the threat is just a troll to take advantage of the media’s assumption that NK was involved.

    • Robert Garcia says:

      If it were Russian Kremlin Operatives – RKO, I’m certain the letter would have been better written since they have Edward Snowden currently at their disposal.

  12. weaponx says:

    if it was an adult the punishment would fit the crime, but i doubt they would send kids to jail specially if under 16 years old.

  13. Johnny on the spot says:

    No worries, the U.S. govt will send the same techies who built the Obama care website to get to the bottom of this hacking mystery. Or maybe this is a job better suited for Scooby-doo and the gang.

    • human says:

      Yeah, because the govt is always worse than the private sector. Oh wait, Sony is the private sector. What a great job they did! (also, I don’t recall healthcare.gov spewing everyone’s private data out onto the internet in huge bittorrent downloads, but don’t let me disrupt your fantasy)

  14. John Tanner says:

    The e-mail was written by some kids trying to mock a foreign speaker. It reads more like the way a foreigner would speak, not how he would write. The tone in the first paragraph also varies. The first part is common mistakes by foreign speakers, the second part of the first paragraph mimics stereotypes of Asian English speakers.

    The people behind this are the same idiots that annoy and cause a lot damage all for the thrill of it.

    The authorities really need to make some good examples of them when caught with very lengthy jail sentences or they will begin to multiply exponentially.

    This is a crime that has a very low level barrier of entry.

  15. norris1matt1 says:

    “Many things beyond imagination will happen at many places of the world. Our agents 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.”

    How positively terrifying…

  16. Vince says:

    fkg interesting…..you shall sow what you reap comes to mind

  17. kim Ty Fuc Yu says:

    This reads like it was written by an uneducated person who no one says no to? and is fat and ugly.

  18. Jay says:

    “The author of the email wrote in English and made only a single demand.” Is the author implying that the hacker is foreign? If so, how did they come to that conclusion? Please explain.

    • Johanna says:

      Even to a non-native English speaker like myself it is quite obvious that whoever wrote that e-mail never learned English well and is quite unfamiliar with the language. The grammatical errors are typical for automated online translators where a word has several meanings in the original language and the translator program picks the wrong translation for it because it cannot process the context. My guess is that the writer of the e-mail lives in a country where English is taught as a third or fourth language in school, if it is taught at all, and most English movies/music/games etc are dubbed to the primary language of that country, thus decreasing the exposure to the language. The choice of words is actually rather polite despite the threat, suggesting that the writer thinks it is enough for the threat to be taken seriously, which in turn suggests that the writer lives somewhere where the regime has or recently has had the kind of power to carry out similar threats. I think most of the western world would have described the violence in much greater detail and used stronger language in general to make certain it comes across as a serious threat. Of course this is just speculation on my part, but it is still very likely that English was not the first language of the writer.

    • Jay says:

      BTW…I was referring to the author of this story…not the author of the alleged email.

  19. joe says:

    I have some sympathy for Hollywood around here somewhere.

  20. kim Fail You says:

    Thank you Obama for protecting us, Not!

    • nucas says:

      it is Obama’s job to personally protect a Japanese film company. anything bad that happens to anyone is Obama’s fault, forever.

      you just keep on with that reckless emotional response. no need to think, after all. vote Republican!

      • human says:

        I think kim Fail thinks it’s Obama’s job to personally protect private enterprise from hackers. It’s right there in the Constitution under Executive Branch responsibilities in some minds. “The President shall directly oversee data security of private businesses and defend thier information from hackers.” – yeah that’s the line.

  21. Damien says:

    If Sony does not comply, Kim Jong-um will sic his giant house cat on them. He is so rone-ry! #TeamAmerica

  22. iambicpentamaster says:

    Hey, Max!

    Where’s my Beta, Max?

  23. There’s also the chance they’re writing crap English on purpose to throw them off the scent.

  24. Mark says:

    That’s a lot of bad English grammar packed it those poorly constructed sentences. These people can hack, but they can’t write. Grammatical mistakes suggest an Asian speaker.

  25. c. adkins says:

    – NSA.

  26. Dennis says:

    For many years Sony has been ignoring data security. They never seem to learn.
    Now they pay the price.

  27. mmercier0921 says:

    Ooo… A spooky annonymous death threat. So scarry I will start to carry three magazines, rather than the usual two.

  28. Boy, somebody sure don’t like Sony. LOL

  29. tarmangani says:

    That’s it!! I’m getting rid of my Walkman.

  30. Sony hacked? :( Too bad, so sad… Oh well, “It’s a hard knock life…” they say.

  31. GaVoter2012 says:

    I think they are the same ones behind the Nigerian email scams.

  32. Is there any evidence that the e-mail is actually originating from GoP, and not some other entity?

  33. Robert Garcia says:

    Sony will collapse and come back as RKO. Royal Korean Oligarchy

  34. Oh no! If these hacks continue then more movie plots will be revealed before we have a chance to see them … Well, see them again that is since the last movie that came out with the same plot. This group is a joke and I am purposely buying Sony now just to irritate them.

  35. Dumb Dumber says:

    LOL! There’s no way N Korea is responsible for this. It’s some teenage dweebe sitting in his mom’s basement. LOL! Good God!

  36. time somebody exposed the despicable hollywood propagandists of the genocidal American regime that , under mass murderers like obama, bush, clintons, is invading & occupying countries, funding coups, drone killing children, torturing the unarmed, burning the unborn, spying on all, etc., etc., in order to loot resources to maintain its welfare junkie citizens. eventually every last drop of blood and wealth usa and its people leeched from others will be paid back in full with interest by force.

  37. Danny says:

    Wonder If It Affects Past employees Wow… Now I’m Wondering

  38. nader paul mckinney ventura says:

    Blowback Sony Pictures Produced Propaganda for corporate
    government
    to sell the official September 2001 narrative for thirteen years

  39. tom says:

    This is like a deceleration of war! Imagine this situation in cold war. IMPOSSIBLE!!!
    Dear Mr Obama can you please do something… Put the best people in your team together and start to “hunt” and “exterminate” this hackers/ government/ everybody involved in this. Use drones, military and the full power of our technology to bring them down to justice. Is time…

  40. Stephen says:

    This email reads like a Seth Rogen and James Franco movie.

  41. Mike Jones says:

    All your base are belong to us

  42. Merlot says:

    Best comedy of the year. Did Mel Brooks write this?

  43. tj says:

    you sound just like a cheese-ball
    get your head out of yourass

  44. calimani says:

    LMAO, awesome. A bunch of useless, leftist, Hollywood, cheeseballs threatened by a bunch of Marxist monkeys from China and NoKor.
    It’s a win-win!!

  45. tj says:

    “Release of “The Interview,” will cause bad things for USA”

    Somebody better cut the cable and connections now for North Korea and others like them.
    Before it’s too late!!!!!
    They will destroy what little integrity is left of the internet.

  46. tj says:

    “Release of “The Interview,” will cause bad things for USA”

  47. David says:

    Lol, bring it. Glock, Mossberg and Smith & Wesson all await your fury.

    • M0rph3us says:

      You do realize that hackers can destroy your life without even being in the same country right? Ask someone who’s been a target and they’ll tell you, unless you live completely off the grid you are vulnerable. Guns won’t help you against an enemy you’ll never see.

  48. stinky pete says:

    Come into the light hackers – you’re a bunch of pussies.

  49. Mjkbk says:

    “Guardians of Peace”.

    More like “Guardians of Our Own Piece of the Action at the Expense of Everyone Else”.

    In other words, just your everyday vandals, thieves and thugs.

    Actually, they’re the kind that Hollywood frequently eats up with a spoon and turns into movie heroes……those adorable brash youngsters, taking down The Man, yay.

    Yuck.

  50. JoeTheFilmmaker says:

    I really really like these guys. Whatever they are doing, keep doing it. Hollywood needs to be rebuilt by film and TV artists, and do away with these Obama sychophants.

    #GOP….. You are awesome! Keep up the good work! We the people of middle America fully support your endeavors.

    • human says:

      If only you could be so lucky, Joe, as to have all your personal information spewed all over the internet. You realize you’re endorsing terrorists, right?

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