US & Canada

Wikileaks publishes hacked Sony emails and documents

A billboard advertising the film Image copyright Getty Images

Wikileaks has published hundreds of thousands of emails and documents from a cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment last year.

The archive apparently includes Sony conversations with Downing Street and with Hollywood figures.

In November, the entertainment company suffered a cyber-attack weeks before releasing The Interview, a film criticised by the North Korean regime.

Sony said it "strongly condemns" the Wikileaks release.

"We vehemently disagree with WikiLeaks' assertion that this material belongs in the public domain,'' the company said in a statement.

The Wikileaks dump includes more than 170,000 emails and over 20,000 documents.

After November's hack, an unknown organisation published the documents online, but it was not in an easily-searchable form.

Julian Assange, the founder of the website, justified the publication by saying the documents show the inner functioning of a multinational company and are "at the centre of a geo-political conflict".

The attack came just weeks before Sony was set to release the film about a fictional American plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korea denied involvement in the attack but praised it as a "righteous deed".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Julian Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London

In December, a group calling itself the "Guardians of Peace" threatened 9/11-type attacks on cinemas showing the movie, spurring Sony to cancel the film's release.

Days later, amidst growing public pressure to show the film, Sony bosses appeared to change their minds and said they would give it a limited Christmas Day release.

In January, the US imposed new sanctions on North Korea in response to the attack. And, in April, President Obama ordered the creation of a programme that would allow the US government to sanction foreign hackers.

Mr Assange is currently seeking refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after two women in Sweden accused him of rape and sexual assault.

Related Topics

More on this story