Sony Pictures hit by massive hacker attack that takes down entire computer network

25 Nov 2014

Sony Pictures has been hit by a malicious hacker attack that has taken its entire computer system offline. The attacker posted images alleging he or she was a former employee and had sensitive financial data.

The breach of the company’s systems was discovered on Monday when a picture of a skull appeared on company computer screens.

A post has appeared in the /r/ hacking thread on Reddit by a person claiming to be a former Sony Pictures employee claiming credit for the attack.

A screenshot emblazoned with the words “Hacked By #GOP” was also posted in the Reddit thread.

The hacker warned that that data obtained from Sony Pictures’ systems would be divulged at 11pm 24 November.

ZIP files contained in the screenshot refer to documents that are financial records along with private keys for access to servers.

The attack is being linked to a group called “Guardians of Peace”, according to Bloomberg which cited an anonymous source.

The attack is believed to be currently confined to Sony Pictures and does not affect any other Sony division.

But either way it is reminiscent of a major data breach at Sony in 2011 where millions of names and passwords of PlayStation Network users were stolen.

Hacker image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years