The Sony hackers made good on their promise to release a so-called Christmas gift by posting an eighth batch of documents to the Internet on Tuesday and threatened a 9/11-style attack if The Interview is released. The documents appear to be the entire email account of Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton.
The leak marks an escalation in the attack carried out by unknown group of hackers, who call themselves Guardians of Peace. Unlike the email leaks of studio co-chairman Amy Pascal, who deals mostly with the talent and filmmaking process, Lynton’s emails likely reveal key financial strategy and details about SPE as well as perhaps parent company Sony Corp.
Lynton’s email account contains 12,466 messages, which presumably includes deleted messages, dating from Nov. 12, 2008, to Nov. 21, 2014, three days before the hack was first noticed by the studio.
The dispatch also marks the first time that the GOP hackers have cited the film The Interview by name when releasing Sony documents.
The message, which was riddled with grammatical errors, is far more menacing than previous messages and threatens an event reminiscent of the 9/11 terror attacks. In the Tuesday message, which accompanied the latest batch of stolen documents, GOP warned: “We will clearly show [the remainder of the Christmas gift] to you at the very time and places ‘The Interview’ be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.”
The message appeared to be a warning to potential theatergoers for the Seth Rogen comedy, which opens Christmas Day. Still, the film’s premiere went off in Los Angeles on Dec. 11 without a hitch.
Tuesday’s email message was sent to reporters with links to peer-to-peer sites that contained part one of GOP’s “Christmas gift,” which it promised over the weekend in a previous message.
“We have already promised a Christmas gift to you,” the message continued. “This is the beginning of the gift. … Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment. All the world will denounce the SONY.”