While North Korea is denying any involvement in the cyber-attack that struck Sony Pictures recently, the studio has pulled their upcoming comedy film “The Interview” starring Seth Rogan and James Franco. The plot of the movie has the CIA enlist the support of two top celebrity journalists to assassinate the leader of North Korea during a rare interview inside the isolated nation. The obvious question regarding the cyber-attacks is: Who has a motive to conduct the attack besides North Korea?
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un recently passed a law prohibiting anyone from using legally using his name. The depth of the dictator’s narcissism cannot be understated. The hackers also issued a threat to American moviegoers not to see the film or movie theaters will be attacked. President Obama addressed the issue and assured the public the threats are not credible. In fact, the president encouraged Americans to go to the movies. Despite those assurance, Sony yanked the film from distribution citing public safety concerns. However, they may be reacting more to implicit or explicit blackmail.
The hackers have released emails and payroll information that has embarrassed if not outright shamed the movie studio’s top execs. Racially insensitive and possibly racist remarks about the president were found being made in company emails. The studio was also found to pay female actresses less than their male counterparts even when the actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence were clearly the bigger ticket draw. The hackers also crippled Sony’s servers and personal computers globally. My friend Jared Haftel has been following the coverage non-stop, so you can be sure we’ll keep you updated as this story develops.