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Remember when 5 of Sony’s theatrical releases somehow made their way online in the wake of the studio’s networks getting hacked? Well, the federal government has started investigating, and while the guilty party hasn’t been exposed yet, one of the prime suspects is apparently North Korea.
Why would North Korea spend time and money hacking Sony? Well, the nation’s leaders aren’t too happy about the studio’s upcoming film, The Interview. The flick follows Seth Rogen and James Franco as they attempt to North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. The powers that be have previously complained to the United Nations and vowed revenge if the picture was released as scheduled.
When contacted by the BBC, Kim Jong-un and company refused to deny they were behind the attack. Here’s the official quote…
"Wait and see."
The cyberattack happened late last month. It initially resulted in some minor annoyances like emails getting bounced, screens saying "Hacked By #GOP" and workers being unable to log onto their computers. Days later, however, prints for Annie, Fury, Still Alice, Mr. Turner and To Write Love On Her Arms all leaked online. Fury was quickly downloaded more than one million times, and industry experts starting wondering how much money the breach would wind up costing the studio. Initially, the North Koreans weren’t even suspected, but over the past few days, those in the know are pointing to the Nation as perhaps the most viable suspect.
It’s easy to see why North Koreans would be angry about The Interview. If nothing else, the film is certainly a little tasteless, given it’s about killing someone who is still alive. Whether he’s a dictator or not, that’s a rough pill to swallow for a comedy, but even so, hacking is a pretty extreme response. North Korea has a long maverick streak of marching to the beat of its own drummer, however, so anything is certainly possible, especially since they feel like they were wronged on this count.
Regardless of this hacking, it’s impossible to imagine The Interview won’t move forward with its regularly planned release on December 25, 2014. Beyond that, it’s also hard to imagine Sony won’t pour a whole lot of money into hiring a new team of security experts to try and prevent this type of leak from happening again. Even if only a small fraction of the downloaders would have gone to see the movie, that still represents half a million dollars or so in lost ticket sales.