Hacker message demands Sony not show ‘The Interview’

Seth Rogen James Franco
James Franco, left, and Seth Rogen star in Sony Pictures Entertainment’s “The Interview.” A note claiming to be from a hacker group Monday demanded that the studio not show the film.
(Ed Araquel / Associated Press)

An online message claiming to be from the group that hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer systems demanded that the studio stop showing “the movie of terrorism,” a reference to the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy “The Interview." 

“Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the War,” said the message, which was posted on the website GitHub. 

The film, which opens Dec. 25 in the U.S., follows two television figures who become part of a plot to kill North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-Un.

Federal law enforcement officials have said they are taking seriously the possibility that North Korea was behind the crime. Potential North Korean involvement has not been confirmed. 


Last week, hackers released the personal information of roughly 47,000 people, including that of actors Sylvester Stallone and Rebel Wilson, according to data-security consulting firm Identity Finder. That release came after the attackers hijacked Sony Pictures’ computer systems Nov. 24. 

The note posted online Monday claiming to be from the hackers also included links to what it says is its fourth release of internal data. 

A Sony representative did not have a response to the new message. 

On Friday, Sony Pictures employees received emailed threats against their families from people claiming to be the hackers. 


However, the note posted Monday denied responsibility for those threatening messages. 

“We know nothing about the threatening email received by Sony staffers, but you should wisely judge by yourself why such things are happening and who is responsible for it,” the message said. 

The note added, “You, SONY & FBI, cannot find us.”

Sony Pictures’ chief executive, Michael Lynton, on Saturday sent an email to employees that contained a letter from Kevin Mandia, founder of the cybersecurity firm Mandiant, which has been hired to assist in the investigation. 

“The scope of this attack differs from any we have responded to in the past, as its purpose was to both destroy property and release confidential information to the public,” Mandia wrote. “The bottom line is that this was an unparalleled and well planned crime, carried out by an organized group, for which neither SPE nor other companies could have been fully prepared.”

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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