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How the Sony hack felt from the inside

Published Dec 22nd, 2014 1:15PM EST
Sony Hack Inside Story

Even though the recent Sony Pictures hack did not affect as many individuals as the Target or Home Depot hacks, the cyber heist is still one of the most talked-about attacks to date, considering the massive amount of internal information the hackers stole, releasing some of it online and exposing personal data belonging to Sony employees in the process. Many reports have detailed the various things hackers revealed about Sony’s daily operations and business plans, but a new report gives us an idea of how the cyber caper felt from the inside.

FROM EARLIER: How hackers hacked Sony

One unnamed Sony employee decided to tell Fortune the inside story of the hack, explaining how everything felt from behind Sony’s walls.

“The Monday before Thanksgiving, we all came to work. Some people had turned on their computers and were working. At around 8:15 a.m., that black screen of death came on,” the person wrote.

But only a few days later it became clear that the hack was more dangerous than it appeared to be, as the entire network was brought down the following week.

“Things became more clear when it was revealed what information was released. Around Wednesday or Thursday [the following week], people started saying: call your bank, change your passwords, set up a new checking account,” the Sony employee added. “I was completely irate. Once it got personal, it was just, are you kidding me? Seeing the faces of colleagues with families — they’re worried about their life savings, their retirement funds, their kids.”

Interestingly, it wasn’t Sony that provided information about the matter to employees. Instead they found out about the attack’s scope from media publications. “And the blogs were the ones giving us all the information. We got more information from blogs and websites than we did from Michael [Lynton, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment] and Amy [Pascal, co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment],” the person said.

The employee soon changed passwords for all financial services he or she used at work, including banking and credit cards, but also social networking sites including Facebook and online shopping sites including Amazon, eBay and others.

Sony also offered security monitoring services to employees, but employees were apparently frustrated the company’s top exec were not sharing more information with them.

When it comes to business, employees moved to “loaner laptops, pen and paper” in order to recreate the documents you need “when you’re working on any business deal.”

This full personal recollection on how this Sony attack was perceived internally is available at the source link.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.