The recent hacker break-in at Sony Pictures Entertainment appears to have involved the theft of far more than unreleased motion pictures: According to multiple sources, the intruders also stole more than 25 gigabytes of sensitive data on tens of thousands of Sony employees, including Social Security numbers, medical and salary information. Screen shot from an internal audit report allegedly stolen from Sony and circulating on file-trading networks. Several files being traded on torrent networks seen by this author include a global Sony employee list, a Microsoft Excel file that includes the name, location, employee ID, network username, base salary and date of birth for more than 6,800 individuals. Sony officials could not be immediately reached for comment; a press hotline for the company rang for several minutes without answer, and email requests to the company went unanswered. The latest revelations come more than a week after a cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment brought down the company’s corporate email systems.
Some of the files apparently taken from Sony that are now being traded on file-sharing networks. Such extreme precautions would make sense if the company’s network was faced with a cyber threat designed to methodically destroy files on corporate computers. KrebsOnSecurity obtained a copy of the alert, which includes several file names and hashes (long strings of letters and numbers that uniquely identify files) corresponding to the file-wiping malware.
Also, the security guys over at Packetninjas have posted a useful write-up on a malware sample they spotted from early July 2014 that matches the file name of the malware described in the FBI’s Flash alert about the file-wiping malware. This file directory tree, included in the leaked data, offers a glimpse into the sheer volume of files apparently compromised in this breach.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 at 11:21 amand is filed under A Little Sunshine.
I can fathom rights protections as one explanation for allowing continuing KNOWN maliciousness.
This does just reinforce that the use, and therefore availability, of usernames and passwords is no longer a via means of user authentication.
The Hollywood Reporter seems to have had the story on the 24th, but no one would have thought to look there.
Well it is hard for me to feel sorry for SONY, but then again, maybe they can use their considerably clout along with the MPAA to bring about more action against nation state bad actors in the future. Quite frankly I view that corporation in pretty much the same light as an American mob organization, and also not much different than NORK.
IIRC, the whole idea of free credit monitoring after breaches came from Sony’s response to the PlayStation hack. Seeing that the corporation has been compromised in the past, and probably cleaned up to remove the path of the intrusion, the chips have to be all thrown in, in order to find out who is the cause of this. As a caveat, at least the FBI releases some of the information via private channels to allow others to shore up against these type of attacks.
For cases like this, when the majority of the DoJ and other enities are involved, they will go to the Nth degree and figure out who the mole(s) are and they will be the first of a long line standing for judgement.
That screenshot appears to be from an IBM mainframe app (TSO-SPF based, originally intended for a dumb 3270 series screen).
If they reached a mainframe CISC (which they seem to have by the look of this 3270 screenshot), that clearly means they got access to a core infrastructure server.
I was a mainframe computer operator on a IBM CICS system that managed a large insurance company utilizing over 600 terminals, all in an operating system that fit itself and all of the user’s applications into 16MB of RAM on a mainframe system that filled a room the size of a department store.
The odds of compromising a CICS mainframe system are quite long – those kinds of things are locked down beyond belief. IBM’s RACF (resource access and control facility) is the gold standard for mainframe security. Dear B_Brodie – Youe assertions about the inherent security of CICS are totally misplaced. But Mainframees are just softwware systems attached to a network and as Joshua Corman says software=vulnerable, networked=exposed. In any case, though you may be correct that an insecure network may allow an uncredentialed individual to log in to a mainframe software system using a captured userid and password, unless that userid has elevated privilege, the platform will remain uncompromised.
North Korean officials are upset about the Sony movie depicting an assassination plot against their fearless leader. Assumptions are always dangerous, but you could do a lot worse than to draw your own conclusions from viewing this listing of the files taken.


At this point, is this simply a list of files or are they documents that have actually been leaked?
The SPEData file that was kicking around (the file that was linked to in the defacement image that the hackers left on screens) was a list of some 16 million filenames that GOP claim to have taken. This tree appears to be the directory structure of the first batch of released files, which is only about 38500 files, a tiny subset of the data GOP claim to have stolen.
The screener release that everyone has automatically linked to this attack seems fishy, however. Is there any way to find out if this may be several groups taking advantage of the original attack? Is there any known precedence for state sponsored cyber attackers selling employee or user information like credit card thieves do? Files do look limited to Sony Entertainment there are several divisions here in the states.
Thank you for redacting the employee’s personal date (name, id, etc) in your sample screen in the article. I have seen too many security articles showing sample screen shots leaving the personal data in.
While I’m sure Brian has read the FBI flash, if you are in a security role for your company, you can generally get access to these reports simply by contacting your local FBI office. The other question is: is this one breach and malware from another source or one hacking with No. One thing to note is that, despite widespread assumptions to the contrary, the release of the movies almost certainly has nothing to do with the hack. At least 4 out of the 5 movies had already been mailed out as screener DVDs to movie reviewers and industry professionals, so there were already thousands of copies of those films in circulation prior to the hack.
There’s no reason to assume that the movie footage was taken as part of the hack, particularly when you consider that the servers that were compromised were unlikely to even contain the footage in the first place. Almost everyone has just made the assumption that the movies were part of the stolen data simply because of the timing. There’s also a lot of former Sony employees keeping a very close eye on this thing as well. The stolen data doesn’t just pertain to current employees, it goes back over a decade. I know that a lot of reporting organizations have pulled the files themselves, but is there any list still out there someplace where us former Sony employees can look to see if we’ve been confirmed as having been sent into the world? Sony has been dumping (RIFing) large numbers of people, including those with six-figure salaries.
As for all the HR data that seem to have been taken, well, those are not so useful to anyone wanting to make some money from their efforts. For your own computers, if remote access software must be left running all the time, then always leave the computer at a login screen so any unauthorized access would not get beyond the login screen. In the password window, make sure no password is entered (unless you’re planning unattended remote access).
This list is updated daily, so you will always get the current updated rank & market report. But the alert also says this type of vigilance may only serve to let organizations know that their files are currently in the process of being deleted. ET: Multiple sources are reporting that the links to the torrents for the stolen Sony internal data were posted on Pastebin late Monday morning.
Packetninjas notes that the file also was calling home to the same control server in Thailand that was documented in this week’s FBI alert. Ironically, that approach may be better suited to that breach (and this one) than the Target & Home Depot breaches, neither of which involved SSNs or passwords. You’re not going to get much from the Secret Service in the way of technical information about this latest hack, mainly due to its overall complexity. Additionally there are a TON of highly technical websites that are following this incident and offering their technical side of the situation. They probably got access to a lot of things surrounding it as these mainframes usually acts a middleware between other critical infrastructure components.


There are virtually no recorded instances of CICS systems being systematically, externally hacked by interlopers and outsiders. I don’t just write about stories that everyone else is writing about unless I can advance the story in some significant way.
Those files were unlikely to have been on these servers, they were likely rips of the awards screeners that Sony mailed to industry members & movie reviewers.
A group could have hacked employee info (insider even) and waited for the right moment to release SSNs and salaries. Despite what some early reports say (citing unnamed US officials), it does’t feel like the work of NK. The fifth movie has been around in one form or another for 2-3 years, so it’s not much of a reach to assume that a screener copy of that escaped as well. Considering that about 90% of all companies say they’ve been hacked, including companies specializing in computing security, it’s probably a given that at some point remote computer access systems will get hacked. With the increased concern about computer security, it’s important to use best security practices with such programs. The highest level of security would be achieved by leaving the software installed on a computer, but not running. A high level of security would be attained by allowing the software to run each time the computer is turned on, but to generate random password for access. A good level of security is possible when the software is set to run each time the computer is turned on, and a strong password is assigned to the computer. Most systems allow for the computers and passwords to be saved and accessed from a single login. Instead of saving passwords in the cloud on with the remote computer access service provider, consider saving passwords inside of local password storage software utility programs such as Callpod Keeper.
Once TeamViewer is running, you should see the small blue TeamViewer icon in the system tray as seen in the middle below. In the resulting window, remove the checkmark (if it exists) to the left of the Start TeamViewer with Windows option. To close it completely, right click on the TeamViewer icon in the system tray and choose Exit TeamViewer.
Less than an hour after that post went live, the individual hosts that were sharing copies of the Sony data came under sustained denial-of-service attacks apparently aimed at keeping the files from being shared with other torrent users. If you’ve got some information that would help me advance the story about the USPS breach, by all means please share it with me privately. Another could have been pirating movies all along but because we are looking more closely at anything Sony related, we saw that.
In this way, it’s convenient for someone needing support to start the software only when needed. This setting can be used in the initial setup of a computer since the installation of new software and required updates usually requires frequent restarts. This eliminates the need to enter login passwords for each computer and saves time when needing to access multiple computers.
These instructions presume that your computer is currently set for low or good security as described above. While individual people are not a concern to DPRNK unless they are GOV connected it is always a good idea for all of us to understand what needs to be done to protect our systems. For example, a technology support person might have 100 computers with passwords saved for remote access.
However, when remote unattended access is no longer needed, it’s best to disable loading of the software automatically on restart and remove any saved passwords. Here in this article we are listing Top 10 Best Selling Internet Security Software (Antivirus & Security). If that one person’s account gets hacked (or their computer gets stolen), then all of those 100 computers are immediately compromised.



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