Sony Pictures Studios employees are receiving an email threat, purportedly from the team that has hacked the film company’s computer networks last week. Sony says it has notified law enforcement about the threat, which claims employees’ families “will be in danger.”
Sony also sent out a separate warning asking its employees to turn off smartphones and tablets. Law enforcement sources told Variety that they were investigating the threats. The amount of information that was first released by the group, which calls itself GOP (Guardians of Peace), on Nov. 24 means that the new threat could be coming from a completely different source, misidentifying itself.
Some security experts have said North Korea, or any state-sponsored hackers, were not likely to be involved in the incident, while conflicting reports say the computers that created much of the malware used in the attack were programmed for typing in Korean. Some have suggested that based on hackers’ knowledge of Sony’s computer networks, they had inside information beforehand.
Some suspect that the illegal campaign against Sony, which has come to be known as the “megahack,” is by a state-sponsored North Korean hacking group bent on retaliating for the company’s upcoming film “The Interview,” a comedy starring Seth Rogen as a journalist tasked with poisoning the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
The email sent to employees, republished in full below, is phrased similarly to earlier threats. GOP claims to be a group with agents located around the globe who plan to wreak more havoc on Sony Pictures and its employees unless it begins to “behave wisely.”
The threat tells employees to sign a mysterious agreement or else "suffer damage," and claims that a Sony employee could be a part of the hacking team. Here is the full text, as reported by Variety:
I am the head of GOP who made you worry.
Removing Sony Pictures on earth is a very tiny work for our group which is a worldwide organization. And what we have done so far is only a small part of our further plan. It’s your false if you if you think this crisis will be over after some time. All hope will leave you and Sony Pictures will collapse. This situation is only due to Sony Pictures. Sony Pictures is responsible for whatever the result is. Sony Pictures clings to what is good to nobody from the beginning. It’s silly to expect in Sony Pictures to take off us. Sony Pictures makes only useless efforts. One beside you can be our member.
Many things beyond imagination will happen at many places of the world. Our agents find themselves act in necessary places. Please sign your name to object the false of the company at the email address below if you don’t want to suffer damage. If you don’t, not only you but your family will be in danger.
Nobody can prevent us, but the only way is to follow our demand. If you want to prevent us, make your company behave wisely.