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Sony Pictures Hack Leads to Corporate Network Shutdown

Hackers of a group going by the name "GOP", which reportedly stands for "Guardians of Peace," have managed to breach the corporate network of Sony Pictures, according to reports. The attackers have threatened to leak sensitive data unless their demands are met.

Someone claiming to be a former Sony Pictures employee posted an image on Reddit showing a warning message from the hackers. The image was reportedly displayed on computers at Sony Pictures offices across the United States.

"We've already warned you, and this is just a beginning. We continue till our request be met. We've obtained all your internal data, including your secrets and top secrets. If you don't obey us, we'll release data shown below to the world. Determine what will you do till November the 24th, 11:00 PM (GMT)," reads the message from the hackers.

Sony Pictures employees have been instructed to shut down their computers and disable Wi-Fi on their mobile devices, Variety reported.

Sony could not immediately be reached for comment. The company appears to have a lot of issues to address following the hack attack.

The attackers have published documents containing a list of files allegedly stolen from Sony's systems. The list is comprised of Microsoft Word and PDF documents, and spreadsheet files (.xls), including what appears to be financial information. Reddit users have analyzed the file list and also identified databases, passwords, private keys and even source code.

In addition, GOP hijacked several Twitter accounts used by Sony Pictures to promote various movies. The tweets posted by the attackers were removed by the company, but B2C managed to take some screenshots of the compromised accounts. Some of the messages from GOP referenced Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton.

"Hacked by #GOP. You, the criminals including Michael Lynton will surely go to hell. Nobody can help you," the hackers wrote.

Sony's PlayStation Network was successfully breached in 2011, when hackers gained access to the details of tens of millions of users. Sony Pictures was also breached in 2011 by members of the LulzSec hacktivist group. The hackers responsible for the attack were identified and prosecuted. 

Related: What Does the Sony PlayStation Network Breach Teach Us about Cloud Security?

Related: Sony PSN Attack Infographic and Timeline: Could $10k Have Saved Sony Billions?

Related: Sony Battens Down the Hatches for PlayStation Network, Hiring CISO

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Eduard Kovacs is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.