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#GOP hackers issue ominous warning to Sony Pictures

The hacker group #GOP (Guardians of Peace) that hacked Sony Pictures in November and started leaking information onto the internet, is showing no signs of stopping.

In the latest news, a message was posted to the website Pastebin, pointing to five gigabytes of various data.

The ominous message read: “We are preparing for you a Christmas gift. The gift will be larger quantities of data. And it will be more interesting. The gift will surely give you much more pleasure and put Sony Pictures into the worst state."

In the message, the group asked Sony to send an email to one of five anonymous addresses “to tell us what you want in our Christmas gift.”

The message, later removed from Pastebin, contained files named "My Life At The Company - Part 2," and pointed to five websites hosting BitTorrent trackers."

If you missed it (do you live under a rock?), Sony Pictures was hacked in late November by a group called #GOP, apparently from North Korea.

The group was outraged by the movie The Interview, in which Seth Rogen and James Franco act as journalists who got the chance to interview the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. They then get recruited by the FBI to use the interview as a means of assassinating the leader.

The hackers declared the movie as an "act of war," hacked Sony and threatened to release the stolen data if the movie goes public.

The movie has now been released and so has some of the stolen data, including unreleased movies, celebrities' phone numbers, pay checks, as well as private emails exchanged between two senior executives, revealing embarrassing messages.

Chris Boyd, malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes, weighed in on how odd the hacking saga has been: “Sony is receiving repeated body blows from the breach, which is perhaps indicative of the intention to damage the reputation of the company. Typically a big company breach is all about stealthy data theft and low profile operations, however in this case the motivation appears focussed on creating crippling headlines. It could almost be the beginning of a Bond film itself.”

Stay tuned for updates on this story as they are revealed.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.