The cyber-terrorists behind the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment sent a message to studio execs late Thursday giving them kudos for the “very wise” decision to not release the “The Interview” in any format, according to a report.
“Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy,” the hackers said in a message sent to Sony brass, CNN reported Friday.
The missive, from the group calling itself “Guardians of Peace,” also implied that additional data leaks would stop now that Sony has dropped plans to distribute the film, originally slated for Dec. 25 theatrical debut. The hackers warned the studio in the email that “we still have your private and sensitive data” and said they will “ensure the security of your data unless you make additional trouble,” per CNN.
A Sony rep declined to comment on the latest development.
U.S. officials have linked the attack on SPE — which disabled the studio’s IT infrastructure for about a week and has resulted in numerous private emails and internal company data posted online — to North Korea. A White House spokesman said Thursday that the Obama administration is treating the incident as a “serious national security matter” and is considering a range of possible options as a response.
Sony on Wednesday announced it had pulled plans to release “The Interview” on Christmas Day, after hackers issued a threat that they planned 9/11-style attacks on theaters exhibiting it. Later in the day, the studio said it would not release the film at all, on either VOD or digital services.
“The Interview,” starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, revolves around two bumbling American journalists who are enlisted by the CIA to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Previously, the hackers behind the Sony cyber-attack stole and uploaded to piracy websites at least five of the studio’s films, including Brad Pitt-starrer “Fury” and forthcoming release “Annie,” set to hit theaters on Friday, Dec. 19. However, legitimate copies of “The Interview” have not shown up on piracy sites, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio.