Operations at Sony Pictures remained paralyzed Tuesday as the company’s computer system was in the grip of a hacker group identifying itself as “Guardians of Peace.”
“Sony Pictures Entertainment experienced a system disruption, which we are working diligently to resolve,” the company said in a brief statement Tuesday morning that was sent via a communication department employee’s personal email account. Employees’ company-issued cell phones were impacted as well, insiders said.
Sony Pictures employees were greeted with an ominous image on their computer screens when they tried to log in for the work week on Monday. A sinister graphic of a skeleton with the words “Hacked by #GOP” on it appeared on dozens of screens.
A screenshot of the image, leaked to Business 2 Community, included the following message: “We already warned you, and this is just a beginning. We continue till our request be met. We’ve obtained all your internal data including your secrets and top secrets. If you don’t obey us, we’ll release the data shown below to the world.”
The hacker group identified as #GOP, or Guardians of Peace, also allegedly took over several of the company’s Twitter accounts, sending out similar ominous messages regarding Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton.
The “Starship Troopers” movie Twitter handle purportedly sent out the message, since deleted, “You, the criminals including Michael Lynton will surely go to hell. Nobody can help you.” Similar messages were attributed to Twitter accounts for “Stomp the Yard” and “Soul Surfer” as well. None of these posts are currently up.