The #GOP group has become highly active in the past week, invoking 9/11 terror threats to moviegoers going to see “The Interview” on Christmas. Sony Pictures has already sent emails to cinemas, saying it will allow “The Interview” to be pulled from screening. The new film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco shows the assassination of Kim Jong-Un, the current leader of North Korea.
It is unclear why the #GOP waited three weeks before saying “The Interview” should not be shown. In previous messages, the #GOP has asked for “equality” at Sony, and three days before the leak, the group asked for a payment ransom.
U.S. officials are reportedly close to identifying a connection between the hacking group and North Korea. The consequences for attacking a U.S. company and threatening the public could be severe for North Korea. However, it is still hard to pinpoint the group. Sending the attack from St. Regis hotel in Bangkok, Thailand makes it look suspicious, alongside the malware bug implanted on the Sony Pictures internal system encoded in Korean.
Security experts claim the #GOP is an unusual hacking group, especially if it is state-sponsored. Normally, state-sponsored hacking groups maintain a low profile, but the #GOP has went out its way to be known. One of the group’s members spoke on an interview with The Verge, claiming the group gained internal help from Sony Pictures employees, to pull off the attack. This would explain why it took almost a week for the system to come back online.
Sony Pictures may be fined for serious damages in the near future, already two employees are filing for damages. The #GOP leaked information on employees social security numbers, credit cards, visas and medical information; all highly private. The FBI, FireEye and other security firms are working to find the Sony Pictures attacker. North Korea continues to deny involvement, although it claims the attack was a “righteous deed” against the U.S.