A number of Sony Pictures Entertainment employees are alleged to have illegally downloaded a book on online piracy. Emails published on WikiLeaks revealed a PDF file converted from the ebook .epub format had been downloaded and shared within the company.
Security expert Jeffrey Carr is the author of Inside Cyber Warfare, a book that describes how intelligence agencies and governments rely on cyberattacks in order to gain an advantage over other countries.
Carr was understandably not amused and tweeted Sony asking if its staff could not afford to buy it:
The Sony Pictures cyberattack
The Guardians of Peace group hacked Sony in November 2014 and gained a cache of sensitive information detailed in 173,132 emails and 30,287 documents, one of which is the pirated copy of Carr's book.
On 17 April, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks republished the emails obtained from Sony in full in a complete, easily searchable database called The Sony Archives and now more embarrassing information about the conglomerate's dealings is being revealed.
Most of the information relates to internal day-to-day running of various films being produced, while embarrassing comments from negotiations between high-profile Hollywood actors and Sony were leaked by the hackers in a bid to prevent The Interview. a satirical film about North Korea, from being released.
Sony's intensive anti-piracy measures
In light of the ebook revelations, Twitter users have been criticising the movie studio, which has always had a harsh stance against online piracy.
A new leaked email found in the WikiLeaks archive showed Sony put a lot of pressure on Netflix in 2013 to block overseas users from using virtual private networks (VPN) to cheat geographic restrictions in order to access the abundant content that is only available on Netflix US.
Sony has also previously sued developers and fans of the PlayStation 3 for creating and distributing modchips that render the PS3's copyright protection software useless, which led to the PlayStation Network (PSN) being hacked in retaliation in 2011.
Personal and financial information of more than 70 million PSN customers was acquired in the cyberattack, forcing Sony to take the PSN down and it was later fined £250,000 by the British Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).