The full extent of the recent Sony Pictures hack is starting to become clear, and will no doubt be causing the plush, leather chairs at head office to be squeaking a little louder than usual as executives squirm uncomfortably in their seats.
More than 30,000 documents are now known to have been nabbed in the hack. The files, many of which have been appearing online in recent days, contain a vast array of information.
Besides details on the salaries of top Hollywood stars and Sony Pictures executives, the stolen data also reveals home addresses, work contracts, and more than 47,000 Social Security numbers belonging to current and former employees and freelancers as well as celebrities. The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed the documents on Thursday, listed Sylvester Stallone as one of the high-profile actors whose details appeared.
The FBI is currently investigating the data hack to try to find out who’s behind it. Several security firms have noted the similarity between the Sony Pictures breach and a cyber attack last year on computer systems in South Korea, which has frequent run-ins with the regime in Pyongyang.
In addition, the Journal reports that investigations have revealed the malware was made using a machine with Korean language settings “during peninsula working hours.”
North Korea is known to be annoyed with Sony Pictures over its making of "The Interview," a Seth Rogen movie about a CIA plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un, the nation’s young leader. The regime said it would view its release, which is slated for Christmas Day, as “an act of war that we would never tolerate.”
The hacked files also revealed that Rogen was paid more than $8.4 million for his work on The Interview.
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Earlier in the week a number of unreleased Sony Pictures movies stolen by the hackers – who go by the name ‘Guardians of Peace’ – started to appear on download sites.
The unfolding incident is a big embarrassment for Sony, and questions will be asked as to why it had so much sensitive information going back so many years on servers hooked up to the Internet, with much of it reportedly held in Excel files without password protection.