Hackers Sent Extortion E-Mail to Sony Before Attack

As Sony Pictures Entertainment continues to deal with the fallout of a massive hack on its systems, new reports reveal that an email signed by "God'sApstls" and sent to studio executives on November 21 -- three days before the attack -- warned of "great damage" if "monetary compensation" was not paid. There have been four major leaks of Sony confidential data since its networks became the target of a group that calls itself the Guardians of Peace, or GOP.

Sony has reportedly engaged the services of IT security firm Mandiant to help with the ongoing hack, which some have linked to North Korea, as the studio is soon planning to release a Seth Rogen comedy depicting an assassination attempt on EUsupreme leaderEU Kim Jong Un. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations is leading an investigation into the attack, and is expected to brief Sony Pictures employees on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the studio plans an "all hands" meeting of staffers in Culver City to provide a briefing on the massive security breach, according to a leaked internal memo sent to Sony Pictures employees by CEO Michael Lynton.

The attack has so far resulted in the release of the salaries, addresses and Social Security numbers of thousands of former and current employees; full-length versions of films that have not yet opened in theaters; and information about company finances, contracts, scripts and studio stars, including Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

'Hacked by #GOP'

On November 24, employees of Sony Pictures found their computer screens frozen, with a wallpaper message headlined "Hacked by #GOP." The message also warned that "this is just a beginning. We continue till our request be met. We've obtained all your internal data including your secrets and top secrets." That first attack using wiper, a data-wiping malware, destroyed information on...

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