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Sony’s decision to halt release of The Interview may be the only smart move they’ve made so far

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Movie poster for The Interview starring Seth Rogen and James Franco

In the wake of Sony’s embarrassing system breach and data leak, their delay of the upcoming movie, The Interview, may not be the cowering, knee-jerk reaction it appears to be. Assuming the attack against their corporate data systems came from the North Koreans, Sony’s play just might be brilliant.

Step back for a minute and recall the beginning of the fiasco. It was not Sony who hinted the attack against their systems came from North Korea – it was the press, working under the assumption that North Korea retaliated against Sony for the demeaning portrayal of their leader in The Interview. Sony and the United States government have only recently begun to seriously implicate the North Koreans in the attack. Sony’s move to delay release of the movie is the first public action they’ve taken and one that could reveal much about the origin of the attackers.

You see, if North Korea is not responsible for the attack, The Interview movie really plays no part in this tale and was unfortunately only pulled into the fray by the media machine looking to build the story. On the other hand, if the attack did originate from North Korea, it will be interesting to see what their response will be to Sony’s “gesture” of goodwill. If the leaking of Sony data continues unabated, I would surmise the attack was more likely an inside job and not a retaliatory reaction from North Korea.

Or maybe Sony’s decision to delay the release of the movie was indeed the cowering, knee-jerk reaction it appears to be.

Update 12/19/14: Well, so it begins.

The hackers behind a devastating cyberattack at Sony Pictures have sent a new message to executives at the company, crediting them for a “very wise” decision to cancel the Christmas day release of “The Interview”.  The source said that the company believes the email was from the hackers because it followed a pattern of previous messages, sent to a list of particular executives and formatted in a particular way. – CNN

Update 2 12/19/14: Email message from GOP to Sony

Bingo – this is the response I was waiting for, a response that gives Sony some time to get their ducks in a row before releasing the movie (I suspect they will indeed release the movie).  More of the email (referred to in update above) has leaked out – here are snippets.

It is very wise that you have made a decision to cancel the release of the interview. It’ll be very useful for you.

We still have you sensitive and private data. We ensure the security of your data, unless you make additional trouble.


“Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy.

And we want everything related to the movie, including its trailers, as well as its full version down from any website hosting them immediately.

 Update 3 12/19/14: Second email from GOP to Sony

Some news outlets are reporting this text as a message from GOP to Sony.  I still think it sounds like a bunch of little kids…

This is GOP.

You have suffered through enough threats.

We lift the ban.

The Interview may release now.

But be carful.

September 11 may happen again if you don’t comply with the rules.

Rule #1: no death scene of Kim Jong Un being too happy
Rule #2: do not test us again
Rule #3: if you make anything else, we will be here ready to fight

This is Guardians Of Peace.