In the weeks and days leading up to its premiere, the film “The Interview” has been the subject of much discussion and debate. The movie is based on the 2015 Sony hack, in which hackers broke into the company’s computer systems and stole thousands of sensitive documents. Amongst the material were many unreleased films, including the long-awaited sequel to “The Interview.” While the original film focused on the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, this one will reportedly focus on President Trump and the state of his country.
The discussion around “The Interview” has mostly focused on the ethics of hacking, the legality of releasing classified information, and the security of data in the age of #BigData. However, there is one area where the film succeeds in capturing the imaginations of its viewers, and that is the talent of the hackers who managed to penetrate Sony’s defenses and gain access to some of the company’s most sensitive digital files.
“The Interview” is the product of Hollywood hack-wizard Adrian Chen, who has previously built an entire TV show around hacking. In this case, he was apparently tipped off by someone at the NSA (National Security Agency) who pointed out that the leaked emails were, in fact, real. Chen then set about using his talents to bring to life the massive collection of leaked emails, offering his services in the process.
“The Interview” is not the first time that Sony has been cyber-attacked. Back in 2014, the company was hacked by “Guardians of Peace,” a pseudonym used by a group consisting of members from North Korea and Syria. The hack saw some of the company’s internal documents leaked online, including those regarding the then-upcoming release of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”
The leak had little to do with the film’s content, and instead focused on embarrassing emails and other personal information belonging to Sony executives. Fortunately, no major secrets were leaked, and the studio was able to contain the damage.
If you’ll recall, the 2015 Sony hack focused on many unreleased films, including the long-awaited “The Interview.” Because of this, it’s likely that we’ll continue to see more leaks relating to this subject in the near future. In fact, in the first few hours after “The Interview” premiere, images and videos relating to the film started appearing online.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, it’s time for Sony to take back what was lost, and restore some of its former glory. This will likely involve beefing up its cybersecurity measures, and spending a lot of time and money training its employees to keep what was learned in previous attacks in mind.