Sony Hit By North Korean Hackers
According to industry news reports, hackers have once again wreaked havoc, this time by targeting Sony Pictures. Information about the film giant and its employees has been dumped on torrent sites and Sony’s online security is now seriously compromised to such an extent that employees have been told not to log on to their computers.
The Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDFs and Zip files stolen reportedly contained passwords and celebrity Social Security Numbers belonging to ‘A’ listers like Sylvester Stallone and director Judd Apatow together with data concerning Sony’s social media accounts, online shopping accounts, news subscriptions and staff salary information - complete with home addresses. The hack also resulted in the premature release of a number of Sony’s latest blockbusters.
It is suspected that the breach was the work of North Korea; an accusation that the country has yet to deny. The FBI was called in after Sony was effectively put on lockdown by the hackers who have warned that this is just the beginning of a campaign of intimidation.
Whilst the hackers’ demands are as yet unspecified, it’s though that the action is linked to the forthcoming release of a comedy film featuring an assassination plot involving Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader. North Korea has already made complaints to the United Nations that the film “sponsors terrorism”.
Resolving The Attack
Sony hope to resolve the problem within a few weeks and in the meantime staff must disable corporate Wi-Fi devices and not switch on their computers.
Initially, Sony refuted reports that a hack had taken place, merely stating that they were investigating IT issues. However, they have now confirmed the circumstances surrounding the incident and described it as a “malicious criminal act”. In addition, the company has offered employees a year’s free fraud protection to protect them from the potential ramifications arising from the breach.
This is not the first time Sony has been the victim of cybercrime. The company’s Playstation network was attacked and taken offline earlier this year by hackers and in 2011 a hack on Sony’s gaming platform left them with a £250,000 fine imposed by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.
It seems that it is not just private web users who are vulnerable to the mischief and mayhem caused by hackers. Whilst the world waits with baited breath to see what further havoc the North Korean hackers will wreak on Sony over the forthcoming weeks, this sorry tale can only serve as a warning to others to make sure that they have adequate and robust security measures in place.
Image source: UPenn