The hackers behind a devastating attack on Sony are threatening an “11th of September”-style attack on movie theaters showing an upcoming film that pokes fun at North Korea’s communist dictatorship, prompting the movie’s stars to cancel media appearances.
In a message emailed to various reporters and accompanying the latest in a series of leaks that have included employee emails, health and financial information, the hackers who call themselves “Guardians of Peace” sent a grim warning to people planning to attend screenings of “The Interview,” even warning people who live near cinemas to leave home, according to a report from Variety.
“Warning…We will clearly show it 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,” reads the message posted on Tuesday. “Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear.”
“Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear.”- Warning from Sony hackers
Stars Seth Rogen and James Franco canceled all upcoming media appearances following the latest threats against theaters showing the movie.
The message, believed to be from the group responsible for one of the largest data breaches ever, continued:
“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.”
Included with the threatening message was another round of leaked information from Sony’s servers, including more internal documents and studio information.
No one has been able to access the latest leaked files, which are believed to be encrypted on file-sharing sites linked to in the hackers’ latest emails. They are believed to be a set of emails from Sony Entertainment CEO MichaelLynton. Previous leaks of emails have included racially-charged comments between top level executives, including one exchange that snidely speculated President Obama would only be interested in movies starring African-Americans.
A spokesman for the studio did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did an FBI spokesman or a spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners.
The group also threatened to attack the premiere this coming Thursday in New York, according to a report in the New York Post. A scaled-down screening took place in Los Angeles last week without incident.
It’s not clear who is behind the Sony hack attack, which began on Nov. 24, but suspicion has centered on North Korea. Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly outraged over the film, and in July, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN complained in a letter to UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon about it.
“To allow the production and distribution of such a film on the assassination of an incumbent head of a sovereign state should be regarded as the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war,” Ja Song Nam wrote. “The United States authorities should take immediate and appropriate actions to ban the production and distribution of the aforementioned film; otherwise, it will be fully responsible for encouraging and sponsoring terrorism.”
The movie stars Rogen and Franco as celebrity journalists who score an interview with Kim Jong Un, only to have the CIA order them to use the opportunity to pull off an assassination.