from the there-is-no-bad-publicity dept.
The NYT reports that in the aftermath of the crippling online attack against Sony last month, internal documents have been leaked containing the pre-bonus annual salaries of Sony's senior executives. A spreadsheet containing the salaries of more than 6,000 Sony Pictures employees has been posted on Pastebin, the anonymous Internet posting site, that includes the company’s top executives including 17 senior executives who earn more than $1 million a year sending "a ripple of dread across Hollywood to Washington". Tom Kellermann says that unlike stealth attacks from China and Russia, Sony’s hackers not only aimed to steal data, but also to send a clear message. “This was like a home invasion where after taking the family jewels the hackers set the house ablaze."
Although large attacks on companies are increasingly common, this one has played out like one of Sony’s own thrillers, with macabre images on computer screens of studio executives’ severed heads. Although the studio is exploring multiple explanations, one theory involves North Korea and that the attack could be retribution from North Korea for a coming Sony comedy about an assassination attempt on that country’s leader, Kim Jong-un. Sony plans to release “The Interview,” an R-rated comedy about two American journalists who are recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to kill Mr. Kim. A spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry called the film — apparently after seeing a trailer — “the most undisguised terrorism and a war action" adding that the film would invite “a strong and merciless countermeasure.” The destructive attack at Sony mirrors similar attacks last year on computers inside South Korea that paralyzed the computer networks at three major South Korean banks and two of the country’s largest broadcasters. Those attacks were traced back to computer addresses inside China, though many suspected that hackers inside China were working on behalf of North Korea, retaliating against South Korea for conducting military exercises with the United States, and for supporting recent American-led sanctions against the north. “In 2015 hackers will destroy systems not just for activism, but also for counter-incident response,” concludes Kellermann. Sony is moving ahead with the release of the comedy regardless.