Hackers Threatened Sony Three Days Before Attack

James Franco The Interview Still - H 2014

An email demanding money was sent to the studio's execs on Nov. 21

Hackers sent a threatening email to Sony Pictures executives three days before the cyberattack on the studio's systems.

Among documents leaked to the media Monday was an email that had been sent to Sony CEO Michael Lynton, chairman Amy Pascal and other execs Nov. 21. The email threatened harm to the company unless payment was received. 

"We've got great damage by Sony Pictures," the message read. "The compensation for it, monetary compensation we want. Pay the damage, or Sony Pictures will be bombarded as a whole."

"You know us very well," the email continued. "We never wait long. You'd better behave wisely." The email was signed by a group calling itself God'sApstls. Mashable previously reported on the email.

The studio's systems were breached Nov. 24, and a message on some Sony employees' computers made apparent reference to the initial email: "We've already warned you, and this is just a beginning." Hacking group Guardians of Peace took credit for the attack.

Read more Sony Leaders Give Rousing Anti-Hacking Pep Talk at Studio Holiday Party

An investigation into the attack, which resulted in a litany of leaked documents revealing salaries, social security numbers and profit details, suggests that hackers worked from a hotel in Thailand. The head of the security firm investigating the attack called it "unprecedented in nature" and "carried out by an organized group."

North Korea has officially denied involvement in the Sony hack, although the nation's spokesperson suggested it could be the "righteous deed" of a supporter. Guardians of Peace sent an email Monday demanding that Sony pull The Interview, its upcoming comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen as two guys who are sent to North Korea to assassinate leader Kim Jong-Un.

Email: Ryan.Gajewski@pgmedia.org
Twitter: @_RyanGajewski