This afternoon, nearly two weeks after Sony Pictures Entertainment was hit with a devastating data breach, a number of Sony employees received an email from a party claiming to be the hackers. Several employees received the email to their main inboxes from an individual purporting to be the head of "G O P" or the "Guardians of Peace" (the group that claimed credit for the hack).
The email said that, "removing Sony Pictures on earth is a very tiny work for our group which is a worldwide organization" and continued, threatening that if Sony employees don't "sign [their] name to object the false of the company" then "your family will be in danger."
A Sony staffer who asked not to identified shared the full email with BuzzFeed News
Several thousand current and former employees have had personal and professional information leaked, including salaries, bonuses, social security numbers, as well as some passwords for professional services, and even health insurance information. Ben Bergman, a reporter for the radio station KPCC, also reported that Sony employees received the email and that phones at Sony had also been hacked.
Many suspect that North Korea had a role in the hack. Included in the hacked documents was an itemized budget for The Interview, a comedy coming out on December 25th about an attempted assassination of North Korean president Kim Jong Un. Several full length Sony feature films, including Annie (which is yet to be released) were also distributed online and are available on file sharing networks.
When reached for comment, a Sony spokesperson told BuzzFeed News: "We understand that some of our employees have received an email claiming to be from GOP. We are aware of the situation and are working with law enforcement."
Here is the full email
Subject: Notice to all the employees of Sony Pictures
I am the head of G O P 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 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.
Our supporters take their action at any place of the world.
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.
Matthew Zeitlin is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Zeitlin reports on Wall Street and big banks.
Contact Matthew Zeitlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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