Sony Cyberattack: Timeline of the Hacking and Ensuing Events

Sony Cyberattack: Timeline of the Hacking and Ensuing Events
The United States accused North Korea on Friday of a massive cyber attack against Sony Pictures over "The Interview," a satirical film about a CIA plot to kill Kim Jong-Un.

Below is a timeline of the hacking and ensuing events:

November 24: Sony's computer systems are hacked. A group calling itself the Guardians of Peace claims responsibility.

December 2: Sony acknowledges that the attack was huge and netted a "large amount" of confidential information, including movies as well as personnel and business files.

It made the announcement the same day the FBI launched an investigation.

December 5: Computer security experts confirm that hackers scooped up data including sensitive personal information on some 47,000 individuals, including celebrities.

Sony workers receive a threatening email claiming to be from the hackers.

And industry publications report that yet to be released films such as "Annie," "Still Alice" and "To Write Love on Her Arms," are appearing on the Internet free of charge.

December 7: North Korea denies having plotted the cyber attack, amid suspicion that Pyongyang carried out the act in retaliation for the madcap Sony film.

The North's top military body, the National Defense Commission, goes on to slam Sony for producing the film and "abetting a terrorist act while hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the (North)."

December 8: Guardians of Peace demand that Sony pull the soon-to-be-released comedy, set to open in US theaters on Christmas Day.

December 11: Sony apologizes for racially insensitive remarks about President Barack Obama in company emails.

The unflattering leaks -- including a producer labeling Angelina Jolie a "minimally talented spoiled brat" -- have already thrown Sony into damage control mode.

December 14: Sony presses media outlets against using data the hackers may have leaked about the studio.

December 15: Sony Pictures chief Michael Lynton meets for the first time with employees to guarantee that "this will not take us down."

December 16: Hackers invoke the 9/11 attacks, again warning the Hollywood studio not to release the film.

The move came as lawyers filed two class action suits against Sony alleging that it failed to protect employees' stolen data.

December 17: Sony cancels the release of "The Interview" after major US cinema chains scuttle plans to screen the comedy.

December 18: The White House calls the cyber attack a serious national security matter and threatens an "appropriate response" as others point the finger at Pyongyang.

December 19: The US Federal Bureau of Investigation says North Korea was responsible for the "destructive" cyber attack.

Obama says that Sony "made a mistake" in canceling the movie and warns North Korea it will face retaliation for the crippling attack.

Sony vigorously defends the move, and says it still hopes to release "The Interview" on a different platform - perhaps on demand or online.

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