Late Thursday, WikiLeaks released more than 276,394 private documents, emails and financial data from Sony’s private servers for the world to see. WikiLeaks have dubbed this recent dump of files as “Sony Files Part 2.” The latest release of Sony’s private data comes as the anniversary of Julian Assange’s encampment in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Mr. Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006. Sony has remained silent on this latest cyber hack.
The new data dump is suspected of including a vast collection of communications, with everything from travel calendars to contact detail lists, event planning and expense reports spanning multiple years and employees. WikiLeaks later tweeted a headline of “Sony Pictures legal entanglements including an investigation for bribery” with a link to several confidential attorney documents. Sony was first hacked late November; a red skull appeared on screens throughout a California-based Sony subsidiary. The hack was later believed to have been in response to the planned release of The Interview, which featured James Franco and Seth Rogen as tabloid TV journalists recruited, by the CIA to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
The original hack revealed employees private medical information to sensitive celebrity details including messages from Angelina Jolie to then-Sony executive Amy Pascal, pay disparity between Jennifer Lawrence and her male co-stars inAmerican Hustle and Emma Stone’s phone number and email address. Stone later spoke to the Wall Street Journal discussing her response to the Sony hack saying, “In about a 30-second span, I hit ‘Select All’ and ‘Delete Forever,’ and thousands of emails, like six years of emails, are now gone forever. I was just so freaked out that someone was in there.” “It was horrible. I cried for like an hour. Most of the emails I’m mourning I can still talk to the person and get them back. But there’s others where the person is actually gone. It really sucks.”
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey confirmed the hack was backed by the North Korean government and reassured those in doubt that the Sony Hackers known as Guardians of Peace and often failed to hide their identity through proxy servers. The hackers “got sloppy” when sending e-mails and posting online, Comey said. This allowed the feds to trace them to IP addresses “exclusively used by the North Koreans.”
While expense reports are bit less exciting than emails, Sony is no doubt unhappy about the situation. It was investigating legal options when WikiLeaks added the first batch of documents to its database. It also threatened to sue Twitter if it didn’t ban accounts that were tweeting leaked emails steming from the breach. The company then found itself on the receiving end of a class-action suit when two former employees sued it for notadequately protecting employee information. The legality of posting the documents remains unclear as they were stolen from Sony computer systems which holds copyright to them and therefore can’t be legally published without the approval of Sony. Sony issues multiple letters warning online sites of posting the material and threatened legal action if the messages were used or posted.