North Korea is the new focus of a large hacking of movies from Sony Pictures Entertainment, leaks that included the Brad Pitt war drama Fury, which was downloaded more than 1.2 million times, reported the Inquisitr.
According to Reuters, the cyber sleuths who’ve been working to track down the hacking suspects have turned their attention to North Korea, because the hack investigators have uncovered hacking tools akin to those used in the past by hackers in North Korea against South Korea.
Business Insider claims that the North Korea connection to the Sony hack stems from Sony’s June announcement of their plans to release The Interview, a film set partially in North Korea, which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as a couple of writers who get to interview the leader of North Korea but are urged by the CIA to then poison Kim Jong-un. As a result, North Korea declared war against Hollywood, with letters from Pyongyang, North Korea, to Tinsel Town, the United Nations, and the White House seeming to fall on deaf ears.
Rogen — who was paid $8.4 million for the North Korea-centered feature film compared to Franco’s $6.5 million salary — told Rolling Stone in an article to be published Friday that the nuclear threats from North Korea should cause concern.
“Any time a movie causes a country to threaten nuclear retaliation, the higher-ups wanna get in a room with you.”
Beyond the offenses taken by North Korea against a film that shows the head of North Korea in a bad light — and the country’s reported retaliation efforts — one thing the popularity of millions of downloads proves is that significant interest exists from viewers who don’t necessarily want to visit movie theaters to watch new movies. Of course, while a good portion of those who watched the hacked films online only did so because they were available for free, the success of other video content providers proves a strong market exists of folks willing to buy digital content legally.
Video content providers and distributers like Uscreen and Vidible — the latter of which, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, was purchased by AOL — have discovered there is a substantial market for customers who want to buy online video content as well as video content providers who want to sell it to them legally.
Meanwhile, according to Reuters, Sony executives have said they still don’t know the extent of the hacking while North Korea has denied involvement, but the fallout from the North Korea-suspected hack continues as thousands of passwords — some belonging to Sony Pictures executives — have been published online.
[Image credit: Sony]