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Group claiming Sony hack demands ‘Interview’ not be released

Reuters

A group claiming to be responsible for the massive computer hack at Sony Pictures Entertainment has demanded the company cancel the release of “The Interview,” a film comedy that depicts an assassination plot against North Korea’s leader.

A letter posted Monday on a file-sharing site asked Sony to “stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the War!” It was signed by GOP, the nickname for the “Guardians of Peace” group that says it is responsible for the cyberattack at Sony that began Nov. 24.

Pyongyang has denounced “The Interview” as “undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an act of war” in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

People close to the investigation of the Sony hacking say North Korea is a principal suspect, but a North Korean diplomat has denied that his nation is involved.

The letter included links to downloads of several gigabytes of new data purported to have been stolen from Sony. Reporters were unable to verify whether the letter or documents were released by the same group that revealed other Sony documents.

The letter also said the GOP was not involved in a threatening email sent to Sony staff on Friday. That email claimed to be from the group.

The documents released Monday included an email to Sony that demanded “monetary compensation” to avoid “great damage” to the studio, according to the website Mashable. The email was dated Nov. 21, Mashable said in its report. News of the hacking became public Nov. 24.

A Sony spokesman had no comment on the new letter or the Mashable report. Sony Pictures Entertainment is a unit of Japan’s Sony Corp.

“The Interview,” starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, is scheduled for release in the United States and Canada on Dec. 25. The studio is holding advance screenings for media and others.