Leak Reveals Hackers Sent Extortion Email to Sony Execs Before Attack

By Adam Clark Estes on at

Now things are starting to make sense. The latest leak of data stolen from Sony Pictures in a recent hack appears to be the email archives of two top executives at the company. It also reveals that the hackers asked those executives for money to prevent the destructive attack. Apparently, the execs didn't even open the email.

The latest revelation arrived with a demand that Sony Pictures pull The Interview, a new movie about assassinating Kim Jong-Un. However, that demand seems like a red herring when you read the email that the hackers apparently sent to executives ahead of the breach. The email asks for "monetary compensation" or "Sony Pictures will be bombarded as a whole". It's also signed by "God'sApstls" which, as Mashable points out, is a moniker that pops up in the code of the malware used in the attack.

Again, the email was found in latest leak from hackers identifying themselves as GOP or Guardians of Peace. The four compressed files in the leak contain email archives (about three gigabytes worth of data, in all) that appear to belong to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton and the company's chairwoman, Amy Pascal. And if these emails are real, this extortion plot is surely the first of what could be countless more destructive revelations about the inner workings of Sony Pictures. Of course, it all seems a little disingenuous now that we know the hackers are just a bunch of crooks trying to steal money. [Mashable]