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'We're having panic attacks' ... Sony staff and families now threatened in emails

Whoever wrote that sure sounds like...

...the guy who wrote the manual to my Korean-made coffee making machine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whoever wrote that sure sounds like...

You beat me too it. Whoever wrote that was clearly clinging to the principles of the Juche Idea (for dear life, Dear Leader and the disembodied soul of Great Leader).

Best regards,

AC

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Re: Whoever wrote that sure sounds like...

Juche? No, just to poor grammar and S&M porn movies.

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Re: Whoever wrote that sure sounds like...

All your base are belong to us!

You have no chance. Make your time!

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Clearly, it was Reg favorite commentard amanfrommars1

I've noticed his posts have been getting a bit more lucid over time, presumably the AI is improving as it grows. He is now able to carry out complex hacks, maybe he's the one Hawking and Musk are worried about.

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Re: Whoever wrote that sure sounds like...

agreed, these are definitely criminals. for crimes against the English language!

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Whoever wrote that sure sounds like...

BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HAHHHH.

I regret that I have but one upvote to give to that post.

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Re: Whoever wrote that sure sounds like...

It's be interesting to see what language(s) those word choices and grammar that e-mail maps to.

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Headmaster

Re: Whoever wrote that sure sounds like...

@DAM

It's too poor grammar.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whoever wrote that sure sounds like...

It's possible the crazy English is intentional, so that the feds can't use pattern recognition to identify the perpetrator (who is highly likely to be a disgruntled ex employee)

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Re: Whoever wrote that sure sounds like...

It does not mean it is difficult to hide the origin of your text . Simply translated into Japanese and then in English back Google is .

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Stop

Too far, on both sides

Maybe Sony deserves to be punished for its sins but, for the benefit of any GOP types, this is too much. Whatever scant amount of justification you may have had just evaporated.

That said, you really have to wonder about a major studio making a movie -- a comedy, even -- about an assassination attempt on a living head of state. Was that the best script they had on hand? This whole affair makes it appear the human race has taken several giant steps backward.

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Re: Too far, on both sides

This whole affair makes it appear the human race has taken several giant steps backward.

Err... anon... let me tell you about that Saddam Hussein business.... currently in the "extended blowback" phase...

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Re: Too far, on both sides

If I was an employee, I would be working with all the lawyers to sue the company, the individuals involved in security, and maybe even the consulting firm and activist shareholders who pushed Sony Entertainment down these paths. No one should be spared and as an employee, I would care little over who got screwed in the end; the only appropriate punishment for such malpractice and negligence is hefty legal bills, settlements, and a PR nightmare that might rock the foundation of the current practice of blaming the fish for being eaten by the sharks.

That's not to say that each defendant would be responsible, but it would set off a nice merry-go-round of recriminations, investigations, and perhaps even a few ruined careers. If the C-suite, management firms, activist shareholders, etc. want to justify their huge salaries, returns, and power, a little responsibility (and associated consequence) should go a long way towards ensuring that if nothing else, they are paying through the nose for personal liability insurance.

It seems the only way we can ensure that people play by the rules is to make the punishments much greater than the profit. This is a lesson we've been learning for since 2008 and will continue to learn as long as we allow people and entities the ability to get away with negligence or outright malfeasance for a minor penalty that still made the behavior profitable.

</rant>

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Pirate

Re: Too far, on both sides

"activist shareholders who pushed"

Yes, that caught my attention too. The biggest private shareholder, who forced Sony to cut costs, streamline, make people redundant and has since sold off his shares. Looks like he bought in cheap after a few flops, forced changes to up the value in the eyes of the Wall St. sharks then bailed before the cuts took real effect. Sounds like he's a typical robber capitalist of the Gordon Gecko mold.

Icon for Daniel Loeb. He's probably cost Sony Pictures a shit load more in cash and value than any video pirate ever did.

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Facepalm

Re: Too far, on both sides

"...That said, you really have to wonder about a major studio making a movie -- a comedy, even -- about an assassination attempt on a living head of state..."

I was thinking that, myself. Perhaps whoever it was, was motivated by the old "everybody's a critic" principle... dear GOD, a COMEDY? Are they kidding us? What a piece of crap! Let's take 'em down, guys!

I can't pretend I'm not enjoying this.

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Re: Too far, on both sides

'taint gonna happen. Sadly they own all the agents that could hold them responsible.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Too far, on both sides

I upvoted you. But, still I think against raising a concern of someone who is threatening individuals of their families. Do this some other day. My company (employer) has no canon on its gates, due to budget constraints. This doesn't mean I should be threatened a backlash.

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No canon on the gates

How do you resolve which aspects of the gates are genuine? Who does the blessings? My company has a bishop on our gates. His expenses are tax deductible and if you need to relieve workplace stress he is always up for a quick game of five finger fillet.

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Cojones...

Sony needed some testicular courage if it was going to face up to Loeb. He gets them to make themselves look mean and lean and then cashes out -- why heed anyone who is in it to make a quick killing? What does he know of about a well-run business, or how to build one?

That being said, Sony is clearly a mess, and now a disembowelled mess.

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Re: Cojones...

Yup, and people like that really piss me off for some reason, take this;

who had described Sony's entertainment businesses as "poorly managed" and "characterized by a complete lack of accountability and poor financial controls."

Poor management tends to cost us as the consumer more as the cost of producing is increased by the inefficiency. Except of course, these twats don't see it that way, they want the efficiency increase to produce higher profit margins (we were already paying that amount, so why lower prices?) and increase the share price for their eventual sell-out

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Anonymous Coward

You have a problem with a person, you raise it with that person & whatever happens win/lose or draw it ends there. There is never any justification for targetting the immediate or extended family of anyone you may have a problem with, ever. Doing so is the act of a completely morally bankrupt coward!

Considering the scope of the data breach, Sony have to consider this a credible threat against their employees & their employees immediate & extended families. While I stand against the shenanigans the Alphabet Agencies have been allowed to get away with, one can only hope they will be encouraged to bring their investigative powers to this & actually snoop on those who deserve it for a change

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morally bankrupt coward!

you do know this is the norks right?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you do know this is the norks

No. Do you?

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Alien

The size of the team and the fact that passwords were listed unencrypted in files named "passwords" is worrying to some.

Only to some?

This industry, much to learn, it has!

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Headmaster

Some people!

It's called understatement, and is often used sarcastically (as in this case).

The understatement comprises both the number of people likely to be worried and also the enormity of the errors being reported.

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Not just the size of the team...

11 people – mostly managers

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Not just passwords.

They also kept a convenient list of company credit cards details. Card numbers, end dates, even the PINs. And another file with the login details for various external services. I imagine it's all revoked by now.

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Anonymous Coward

WIPEOUT 2014

An ironic addition to the futuristic racer series?

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Anonymous Coward

If Sony had proper security in place, I would feel sorry for the company, because as we all know there's no such thing as 100% secure.

However, some of the sources seem to suggest that security wasn't important at all. As a consequence of that, I can only say: tough luck; you get what you deserve.

Maybe Sony (and hopefully a lot of other companies) start to realise that any amount spent on IT security and prevention is *always* cheap in comparison to the results of a serious breach like this.

I do feel for all the employees (and their families), who are affected by this. They didn't deserve any of this. Management, their bean counters (and to a certain extent pushy shareholders) are to blame.

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I'm somewhat surprised that Sony is taking this so seriously. After all, they clearly did not place any value in the pilfered data.

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Whoever was actually responsible, weak security and massive cuts don't sound like a good combination.

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having panic attacks

Boo hoo. I'm sure the grandmas and preteens sued for thousands of dollars by RIAA were also having panic attacks but the likes of Sony didn't care, so I'm not about to care what happens to them.

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Re: having panic attacks

Unless they themselves were the architects of that behavior, your logic is at the same grade-level of the logic used by screwballs the world over to justify collateral damage.. including many world governments: Hey, they should have known better than to be born in a country associated with a few idiots with guns.

It's called guilt by association; it is never reasonable and is often reprehensible.

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Re: having panic attacks

Sony is a member of RIAA [1] and makes up 22% of their board of directors [2]. I can't imagine them NOT having a say in that behavior.

[1] http://www.riaa.com/aboutus.php?content_selector=aboutus_members&f=s

[2] http://www.riaa.com/aboutus.php?content_selector=who_we_are_board

Oh, and please search for the word Sony on this page:

https://www.eff.org/wp/riaa-v-people-five-years-later

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Re: having panic attacks

"guilt by association; it is never reasonable" If you have completely certain knowledge of a nuclear weapon about to be launched at a city which will guarantee the death of 10 million innocent people and the only action available to you is to bomb the area where the nuke is and kill the bad actors, their equipment, and also 1 person you know is completely innocent....isn't the collateral damage acceptable? To say you'd choose to save 1 innocent life at the expense of 10,000,000 innocent lives doesn't sound reasonable. If you grant this, then you're granting the reasonableness of collateral damage as a principle. You might argue that some metaphorical panic attacks of innocents are too great a cost against a structure that caused great suffering through mismanagement (e.g. resulting from lost jobs, positive ventures never pursued, etc), but you can't say that such a thing is "never reasonable" -- that's hyperbole. If you truly would choose to save 1 instead of 10 million, then I want you to consider that you're in a very small minority, the kind most people wouldn't want making decisions.

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Re: Nukes

No. Wrong analogy. it is not like only nuking them. It's like sending butcher teams with knives afterwards to enter each home and killing them and the kids and the grannies and the sheeps.

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FAIL

risk-based decisions?

I guess they decided profit and quieting the former investor as more needed than good IT security.

If they go under, than it's the board's fault for not doing what was needed and giving into the "return shareholder value" we hear so often. I suspect that there are more companies in line for a similar rude awakening.

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Why it seems only yesterday Sony was shipping CDs with autorun rootkits! Karma?

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You beat me to it. However -amusing as this might be to people who haven't forgiven them for that fucking rootkit and boycott their products to this day- it does raise a further point in that there is no possible way that Sony can claim to be ignorant of the field of IT security. They got their games network thoroughly pwned fairly recently (Apil 2011) and have also had a go -as a corporation, mind you, not a "independently operating loose cannon from within their ranks"; at hacking other people themselves.

Arguably, Sony's hacking attempt was the more heinous in principle, because it was targeting innocents; whereas you'd reasonably expect a corporation (with a gamer network yet!) to have some defences, expertise and personnel to throw at the subject.

I feel sorry for the victims, but no sympathy whatsoever for Sony. It'll be interesting to see how they try and wriggle out of it when the inevitable lawsuits come flooding in

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Could somebody explain this?

How did Sony Pictures effect such ideological tumescence in this group of hackers? What are they mad about exactly? Of all the entities in the world to get exercised about, why pick Sony? Sorry, I guess I've been living under a rock or something - the article is written such that it seems everyone should know.

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Re: Could somebody explain this?

They are planning a movie that takes the piss out of kim jong ill (bloated son of the great pointer) in which he gets offed. the norks are pretty pissed about it.

well one nork is pissed off about it, but he's the only nork who's opinion matters.

Someday soon the Chinese will work out what the fall of sony would do to their domestic counterfeiting business and said nork will be told to 'wind his neck in' in no uncertain terms :-)

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Re: Could somebody explain this?

PS

I do hope the norks dont find out that norks means tits to us.

they will be livid

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Could somebody explain this?

I don't know, Victoria Coren referred in print to her "norks" and I had to go and lie down in a dark room with a cold water bottle.

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Re: Could somebody explain this?

Seriously?

North Korea has nothing to do with this. Seriously. One guy comes up with one half-baked idea, and suddenly it's the "truth"? Half the world seems to have repeated this.

In my opinion, there are two answers to this:

Either someone decided that Sony was threatening the US dominance of "Hollywood" a bit too much, or, it was a bunch of pissed off people who were let go from Sony over the last year or so.

At first I was for the first answer, but with facts like Sony being over 1/5th of the RIAA board, the swinging staff cuts, etc. I'm now leaning more towards the latter - they would still have physical access, and that's what you need when you are taking 11 TERABYTES of data away with you - where would you even store that, if you were a disgruntled employee? And you'd certainly not be able to pull it over the network to your home DSL connection, even without an IDS to notice!

So I figure a bunch of pissed employees worked together with a hacker group.

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Megaphone

IT industry

Guess in a sad way this is good news for people (outside Sony) in the IT industry (at least if they are competent). My guess is after a few more near collapses of corporations due to lax security and crap management outsourcing, IT people will get less of the lecture off how they are just a cost and are of little benefit to the business as a whole. More important hopefully IT salaries start increasing more as seems to be the case recently at least in the US.

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Re: IT industry

LOL

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Hmmm

that rant smells of someone recently fired from the company and wanting to take his revenge

Any takers on the whole thing is an inside job because a former employee knew how crappy the IT security was ?

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Re: Hmmm

"that rant smells of someone recently fired from the company and wanting to take his revenge"

Well, it certainly wasn't his exemplary command of the English language that kept him employed there....

Or "her", hey, I'm not judging.

"Any takers on the whole thing is an inside job because a former employee knew how crappy the IT security was ?"

I'm not so sure, aside from there being other evidence, you don't need to be a Sony employee to see how slack their security was.

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