The unidentified hackers who reportedly crippled operations at Sony Pictures last week have made good on their threat to release files stolen from the studio's servers, leaking a handful of new movies—some of which haven't even come out in theaters yet—to file sharing sites.
The Guardians of Peace (#GOP for short) first hit Sony's networks Nov. 24, completely incapacitating the company's computers. Employees reportedly stopped using phones and email, although payroll happened as scheduled Friday.
"The IT department has absolutely no idea what hit them or if they can recover any of their files or operating systems, or even turn on their computers."
Sony Pictures planned to be back online today, but there was nothing they could do to stop the #GOP from dumping four unreleased films—Mr. Turner, Still Alice, To Write Love on Her Arms, and Annie—plus Brad Pitt's Fury onto BitTorrent sites over the weekend. The leaked copies have studio watermarks, and a spokesperson confirmed to Variety that they're likely related to the hack.
The hackers claim to have even more files waiting to be released, including "A-list actors' passports, financial data, contract documents, password information and executive emails." Jonah Hill, Cameron Diaz, and Angelina Jolie are among the celebrities whose personal documents were allegedly stolen.
"Sony doesn't lock their doors, physically, so we worked with other staff with similar interests to get in, " someone claiming to be one of the hackers wrote in an email to The Verge.
The hackers' identities and motivations are vague. The source told The Verge their goal is "equality."
Variety reports the studio is looking into a possible connection between the #GOP attack and North Korean threats of "stern punishment" related to James Franco and Seth Rogen's The Interview, in which the two are hired to assassinate Dear Leader Kim Jong-un.
The link is tenuous, though. The Interview, which is due out Dec. 25, wasn't one of the leaked films, and the studio told Variety it currently has no evidence North Korea is involved in the hack, but the investigation has to consider "all possible sources."
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