A world alive at night, Sony Data HackIn today's increasingly interconnected world, data security is as great of a concern as it has ever been. Even since an enterprising Ferris Bueller altered his attendance records to afford himself a day off, hacking has become far less farcical and far more malicious. From personal information to financial data, seemingly nothing is safe from the reaches of digital piracy. And one of Hollywood's largest studios has fallen prey to this scourge.

Sony Pictures are the latest victims of a security breach as hackers infiltrated their network sometime last week. This particular attack began last Monday as Sony employees arrived to messages on their computer from a group identifying itself as "Guardians of Peace," stating that the company's "top secrets" would be released if unspecified demands weren't met. Sony took down its email and messaging systems for a week in an effort to combat the attacks, forcing employees to resort to the archaic use of pen and paper. Unfortunately for Sony, the damage was already done.

Most notable amongst the copyrighted material leaked was five DVD-quality versions of the films Fury, Annie, Still Alice, Mr. Turner, and To Write Love on Her Arms, all of which turned up on torrent sites. Of the films, only Fury had been released in theaters, which would seemingly damage the future box office returns of the remaining projects. Also leaked was a list containing the salaries of Sony's top 17 executives, in addition to claims that the hackers had obtained personal information on celebrities.

To add further layers to the intrigue, Sony has been investigating the possibility that the hack was perpetrated by  individuals working at the behest of the North Korean government. The notion seems plausible in light of Sony's upcoming release of the movie The Interview, in which Seth Rogen and James Franco play American journalists tasked by the CIA with assassinating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. While nothing has been proven as of yet, the possibility of a foreign incursion has prompted the FBI to step in to further the investigation. The Wall Street Journal reports that the tools used in the Sony hack were very similar to those used in an attack on South Korean TV stations and ATMs, attacks that South Korea blamed on its northern neighbor. Fueling suspicions are claims from the ever-blustering propaganda wing of the North Korean state that threaten "merciless retaliation" against the United States if the film is released on Christmas Day, as it is scheduled to.

Chances are you've yet to run afoul of Southeast Asian dictators in your business dealings (and I sincerely hope you never do). But that doesn't mean your data is necessarily safe. Make sure the cloud storage you're using employs the security measures needed to keep your files secure, like the IP Vault®.

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