Hack against entertainment subsidiary leads to blackmail threat involving ‘top secrets’.
Sony Pictures Entertainment was reportedly forced to shut down its systems on Monday following an attack on its IT infrastructure.
A group branding itself the "Guardians of Peace" (GOP) is said to have posted an image to the screens of the entertainment firm’s employees, claiming to have obtained all of Sony Entertainment’s "internal data" and "top secrets".
Sony has confirmed that it is investigating the matter and is reported to have advised employees that the systems could be down for as long as three weeks.
"We’ve already warned you, and this is just [the] beginning," the message from GOP read. "We [will] continue [until] our request [is] met. If you don’t obey us, we’ll release data shown below to the world."
Beneath the message a number of URLs pointed towards a ZIP file, but at the time of writing the links appeared not to be working. A number of Twitter accounts were widely reported to have been hit in the attack, which is the second major cyber-breach in the company’s history.
Last year the company’s video game subsidiary was hit with a £250,000 penalty from the Information Commissioner’s Office, after a huge amount of contact information was taken from the PlayStation Network Platform in 2011.