The hackers responsible for the November cyberattack against Sony Pictures and terrorist threat against movie theaters screening “The Interview” have reportedly added a major media outlet to their list of intimidation targets.
A previously unreleased FBI alert obtained by The Intercept describes a threat made against an unidentified media organization by the “Guardians of Peace” cyberterrorist group, which claimed credit for stealing an estimated 100 terabytes of employee information, executives’ emails and unreleased films from Sony last month.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security joint intelligence bulletin, dated Dec. 24, states its purpose is “to provide information on the late-November 2014 cyber intrusion targeting USPER1 and related threats concerning the planned release of the movie, ‘The Interview.’”
“Additionally, these threats have extended to USPER2 — a news media organization — and may extend to other such organizations in the near future,” the bulletin reads.
After leaking caches of stolen information online, the hackers threatened 9/11-style terrorist attacks against theaters screening Dec. 25 debuts of “The Interview,” which centers around a comedic plot to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. On Dec. 20, the FBI officially accused Pyongyang of sponsoring the attack.
That same day in a message posted to Pastebin — where the hackers previously released stolen Sony data — the Guardians of Peace “specifically taunted the FBI and USPER2 for the ‘quality’ of their investigations and implied an additional threat. No specific consequence was mentioned in the posting.”
The message also included a link to a YouTube video featuring dancing cartoon characters repeatedly saying, “you’re an idiot.”
The Desk on Wednesday posted screenshots of what is purportedly the same message identifying the outlet the FBI dubbed “USPER2” as CNN. The message in question and another to the FBI posted to Pastebin have since been deleted.
In the first message attributed to “GOP”, the hackers sarcastically applauded CNN for their “investigation” into the Sony hack and included a YouTube link to a video titled, “You are an idiot.” The message closed with a demand that the network had “24 hours to give us the Wolf” — a likely reference to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.
A second Pastebin message similar in content was addressed to the FBI.
In the week since the FBI’s public indictment of North Korea, numerous cybersecurity experts have weighed in on the attack with analyses leading away from Pyongyang.
On Monday cybersecurity firm Norse shared the results of its own independent investigation with the FBI, which cites evidence linking the hack to a former Sony insider and several other hacker and hacktivist actors. (RELATED: Cybersecurity Firm Identifies Six In Sony Hack — One A Former Company Insider)