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Sony’s hackers new post in GitHub “Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism.” Are these the same hackers from November 24?

Yet another message has appeared in GitHub written with some serious broken English. Have you ever entered in some English text into an on-line translator, translate into a language considerably different from English such as Arabic or some Slavic dialect, then translate it back into English? It typically is not even remotely the same, thus showing that computer translators still have a way to go. Today’s message was clearly written using some sort of computer translator.

Although the hackers have not directly stated what they are pissed off about, the talk is because of Sony’s new movie to be released later this month, The Interview. This movie, although a comedy, depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and obviously the American humor is completely lost to many people. But isn’t Kim Jong-un a god? Can’t assassinate a god so what are the hacker’s worrying about? (just sayin’)

When comparing today’s message to the previous one’s, I believe today’s may be from a different group. I’ll explain in a moment, but first, the messages.

Today in GitHub “Gift of GOP for 4th day: Their Privacy:

by GOP

We are the GOP working all over the world.
We know nothing about the threatening email received by Sony staffers, but you should wisely judge by yourself why such things are happening and who is responsible for it.

Message to SONY

We have already given our clear demand to the management team of SONY, however, they have refused to accept.
It seems that you think everything will be well, if you find out the attacker, while no reacting to our demand.
We are sending you our warning again.
Do carry out our demand if you want to escape us.
And, Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the War!
You, SONY & FBI, cannot find us.
We are perfect as much.
The destiny of SONY is totally up to the wise reaction & measure of SONY.

Sidenote: Although the hack and release of private information is not a funny matter, I am laughing at the irony behind the hackers calling themselves the #GOP (Guardians of Peace).

Briefly, here are a few facts, which I didn’t know until I started digging through some of Mashable’s posts….

On November 21, a full three days before the breach, the Hackers sent an email to Amy Pascal (Chairwoman of Sony). She never opened it.

We’ve got great damage by Sony Pictures.
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. We never wait long.
You’d better behave wisely.
From God’sApstls

GOP-email

On November 24, the hack. A graphic appeared on Sony employees’ computers with the following message, and personal information was released online and available as torrent downloads:

We already warned you [meaning the email sent to Pascal but never opened], and this is just a beginning. We continue till our request be met. We’ve obtained all of your internal data including your secrets and top secrets. If you don’t obey us, we’ll release the data shown below to the world.

hacker-gop-screenshot

Now, this next fact really amazes me. Any company that does this with their passwords and other private information is just asking for trouble….

The password files and other stolen files WERE NOT ENCRYPTED but rather kept in excel spreadsheets, word docs, and other easy-to-open file formats.

Therefore, although the hackers did make it through Sony’s firewalls, which I’m now skeptical of how well they’re built, a third-grader could grab these files and expose the contents with their eyes closed.

Then today’s message appears specifically referencing “movie” but no name. Just “movie of terrorism,” therefore the logic prevails that Kim Jong-un’s groupies, and Kim himself, are all a bit pissed off about the North Korean leader being “hacked” (pardon the intentional pun) in The Interview.

Now, why do I think this may be a different group riding on the coattails of the original GOP hackers? The English. The email to Pascal, although poor English, is not too bad and even features a contraction in the text “You’d better behave wisely.” In fact, the message that appeared on the Sony computers was definitely written by someone who knows English. Contractions are correct and the grammar is pretty good. A few minor errors, but better then many American high school graduates these days. These two messages were written by someone who knows English. In stark contrast, however, today’s message appears to be entirely translated by a computer from a language which does not translate well into English. Some anti-American group that picked up on the gossip of the threats being due to The Interview and ran with it.

Of course it may be argued that someone else within the same hacking organization wrote today’s message, which may very well be true. But normally messages of this magnitude are written by the same person — one of authority. What does this all mean? America has quite a few haters and companies such as Sony should never let their guard down.

This poses to be interesting as the movie debut draws near as you know darn well that Sony is not going to postpone or cancel the movie. Too much money — and the publicity with all this commotion? The exec’s are probably laughing all the way to the bank.

Lastly, a word of warning, DO NOT STORE YOUR PASSWORDS IN AN EXCEL FILE! Make sure to use a password program that encrypts all information. I use KeePass myself. Open Source and free.


Other References:
The Verge: Hackers tell Sony to halt the release of The Interview
The Verge: Sony Pictures hackers sent ominous email to executives warning of attack

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