Sony Hack Attack: 11 Newest Developments

From a stock market fall to Oprah Winfrey’s call to resist harsh judgement on Sony executives

Last Updated: December 16, 2014 @ 10:41 AM

It’s been over three weeks since Sony Pictures Entertainment was first paralyzed by a cyber attack from a group of hackers calling itself Guardians of Peace, and the damage is far from over.

So many private conversations and internal documents are coming to the surface every day as the media continues to comb through what the hackers are releasing, it’s hard to keep up with the news.

Before more revelations inevitably hit your newsfeed, here’s 111 of the latest developments from Sony’s disastrous hack attack.

1. Sony’s stock is tumbling.
The company’s stock has plunged more than 10 percent since the beginning of last week in a general downturn for global markets and Japanese stocks. Coincidence? Or is the cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment is rattling investors?

Still, shares are up nearly 15 percent in 2014, overall, thanks to the PlayStation 4 gaming console and image sensors for smartphones and tablets.

2. Channing Tatum wants to star in a “Ghostbusters” movie alongside Chris Pratt.
“Let us show the world The DarkSide and let us fight it with all the glory and epicness of a HUGE BATMAN BEGINS MOVIE. I know we can make this a huge franchise. Fun adventure craziness. COME OONNNN!!!” Tatum wrote co-chair Amy Pascal on August 21.

The Daily Beast also found another email, written by Columbia Pictures co-president of production Hannah Minghella, revealing that Tatum and producing partner Reid Carolin “have been brainstorming ideas” with “Captain America: Winter Soldier” directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who would like Paul Feig to take on the project on top of his all-female “Ghostbusters” reboot. Sony executives reply to the email with a lot of interest, while Pascal simply responds, “fuckkk.”

3. Paul Feig wants Peter Dinklage to play the “Ghostbusters” villain.
Vulture reports that if the “Game of Thrones” star isn’t too busy, he can play a convicted murderer who turns into a ghost after his execution is hit by “a supercharged electrical storm.” The site quote’s emails in which Feig says it’s up to “four very different women” to stop Dinklage from raising an army of other ghosts, which could be made up of famous villains throughout history.

4. Paul Feig wants “Saturday Night Live” star Cecily Strong to play a major part in “Ghostbusters.”
Unfortunately for Strong, she won’t be wearing a proton pack, but if Feig has his way, her role could be potentially hilarious.

Vulture reported that Feig wants Strong to play the Ghostbusters bureaucratic nemesis, who is “always saying terrible things about them in press conferences and then apologizing to them behind the scenes.” 

5. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s “The Interview” did not impress Sony executives abroad.
Particularly UK Sony Pictures executive Peter Taylor, who told the president of Sony Pictures Releasing International, Steven O’Dell, that the “desperately unfunny and repetitive” comedy is a “misfire.”

Defamer obtained the email, in which Taylor adds: “James Franco proves once again that irritation is his strong suit, which is a shame, because the character could have been appealing and funny out of his hands.”

6. “The Interview” stars Seth Rogen and James Franco think “it’s f–ked up” that the media is reporting on the leaked emails.
“It’s stolen information,” Rogen told Howard Stern on Monday. “I think it’s fucked up that anyone is talking about it. And I’m OK talking about my shit, honestly, because I don’t fucking care that much and the stuff that was stolen from me on the grand scale of shit is not that bad, but it’s fucking stolen.”

Rogen added: “It’s stolen information that media outlets are directly profiting from. It’s ill-gotten gains, I would assume. They’re literally reselling stolen shit. It’s not like they’re not profiting from it. It’s click bait.”

7. Aaron Sorkin does, too.
The “Newsroom” creator made his opinion abundantly clear in a New York Times op-ed calling “every news outlet that did the bidding of” hacker group Guardians of the Peace “morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonorable.”

Sorking wrote: “Do the emails contain any information about Sony breaking the law? No. Misleading the public? No. Acting in direct harm to customers, the way the tobacco companies or Enron did? No. Is there even one sentence in one private email that was stolen that even hints at wrongdoing of any kind? Anything that can help, inform or protect anyone?”

8. But Bloomberg TV’s John Heilemann, and a number of other media professionals don’t.
“There are a lot of things that have been reported that would have been considered news if they had been found in another way,” Heilemann — a political journalist and co-author of “Game Change” — said on Bloomberg’s “All Due Respect.”

TheWrap surveyed multiple journalists and lawyers Monday to explore whether the media should be publishing and covering the content of the leaks. The majority came down on the side of the media, seeing publishing the hacks as a service for the public.

9. Right or wrong, Sony wants the media to stop.
Sony Pictures Entertainment lawyer David Boies sent media outlets, including TheWrap, a letter this week asking for the supervised destruction of all “stolen information,” like confidential documents, email threads and financial figures obtained by the hackers and leaked in waves since late November.

10. Hollywood executives around town are taking precautionary procedures to make sure they aren’t the next victims of a cyber attack.
TheWrap reported on Monday that executives around town are so panicked, that they’re putting down their smart phones, logging out of their email and picking up a telephone to do business the old-fashioned way, instead.

Sony has resorted to using fax machines again, billing by hand and taking advantage of the U.S. postal service to send mail.

One executive said that he has gone through prior email exchanges with Sony, simply scanning for any personal data he may have sent.

“Truthfully, I haven’t had to send an email in a while, and I’m relieved,” he told TheWrap. “It’s frightening to think you could have information floating out there, wondering if it’s worth being leaked.”

11. Oprah Winfrey does not think the world should judge Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin, or any other Sony employee, for “private conversations” illegally put on display.
Pascal and Rudin may have been caught making racially insensitive remarks about President Barack Obama, but Winfrey isn’t holding it against them.

“I would hope that we would not stand in such harsh judgement of a moment in time where somebody was hacked and their private conversations were put before the world,” she told CNN’s Don Lemon when asked about the Sony hacks.

The “Selma” producer then gave some advice that she recognizes is sometimes easier said than done.

“I try and write everything as though it’s gonna show up in the New York Times,” Winfrey said. “But there are things you say in your private conversations with your friends and your colleagues that you would not want to be broadcast on CNN.”