Many of movie studio Sony Pictures’s computers around the world were still offline Tuesday afternoon after hackers infiltrated the system on Monday.
Although the goals of the hackers behind the attack are unclear, those claiming responsibility told The Verge on Tuesday, “We Want equality [sic]. Sony doesn’t. It’s an upward battle.”
“Sony doesn't lock their doors, physically, so we worked with other staff with similar interests to get in," a hacker identified as “lena” emailed The Verge.
The hackers call themselves Guardians of Peace, or #GOP.
Sony, in statements, acknowledged it was still “investigating an IT matter” and is “working diligently to resolve” the issue, but gave no more details about the attack.
Entertainment news site Deadline Hollywood first noticed the aberrant activity on Monday. Many Sony employees were suddenly met with a bizarre screen on their computers, featuring a glowing red skeleton and neon green spiders.
Text over the images proclaimed: “Hacked By #GOP.”
“We’ve already warned you, and this is just the beginning. We continue till our requests be met. We’ve obtained all your internal data including your secrets and top secrets.”
The hackers threatened to release the “secrets” if their vague demands were not met.
According to a reddit thread started by a user claiming to be a former Sony employee, the attackers also encouraged any employees to email them for full access to the “secret data,” listing 10 email addresses to reach them (the emails were partially redacted on reddit).
The user also posted names of the documents hackers said they stole.
One reddit user who examined the potentially pilfered file names said, “it is as bad as it can get for a company,” possibly exposing the company’s budgets, IT security plans and personal information of artists working with Sony.
Michael Daly, chief technology officer of defense contractor Raytheon’s cybersecurity business, backed the sentiment.
“IT issues for companies are no longer going to stay internal matters,” he said by email. “Brand and reputation are now at play.”