On 24 November Sony Pictures suffered a major breach to their corporate network when a hacker infiltrated their New York offices network. As a precaution their engineers shut down the Los Angeles and Culver City computers while dealing with the breach. A group known as #GOP claimed responsibility by posting the image below on compromised computers. It pretty much brought Sony Pictures in the US to a complete standstill electronically… and now it’s gotten worse for them.
DVD screeners for five of Sony Pictures’ newest movies were leaked online over the weekend, of these David Ayer’s Fury is the only one currently released and still on show across the world. As per Variety and via piracy tracking firm Excipio the movie has been downloaded by 1.2 million unique IP addresses on 30 November after it appeared online on 27 November. However this isn’t the worst news for Sony Pictures, the four other movies leaked haven’t been released yet. The biggest of them is Annie (206,000 downloads), the remake starring Quvenzhané Wallis, which is only due for release on 19 December 2014 in the US and 30 January 2015 locally. The other releases are Still Alice (103,832 downloads), a drama about an Alzheimer’s Syndrome sufferer starring Juliane Moore that’s already receiving some Oscar buzz, as well as Mr Turner (63,379 downloads) and To Write Love On Her Arms (19,946 downloads).
This is a far more serious matter for Sony than “regular” piracy as early releases of smaller movies such as the latter three mentioned could have a real impact on their box office performance as they could draw smaller audiences overall. As a Sony spokesperson told Variety:
“The theft of Sony Pictures Entertainment content is a criminal matter, and we are working closely with law enforcement to address it”
While there’s no concrete information on the perpetrators or the actual motiveas yet, one of the more outlandish theories being spread is that North Korea is somehow responsible for the breach. And the reason behind it? Dissatisfaction over the upcoming movie The Interview, starring Seth Rogan and James Franco as journalists who enter North Korea to interview Kim Jing-Un but are co-opted by the CIA to assassinate him. One thing is sure, Sony Pictures won’t let this piece of corporate sabotage go quietly and knowing who they have on staff I have a suggestion as to who they can call…
Last Updated: December 1, 2014