The Sony hack was so bad that the company was forced to use fax machines and other 1990s technology

GOP sony hackGOPThe initial warning left on Sony computers by hackers.

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that the Sony hack was bad. But only now are we piecing together the real turmoil it caused.

Back in November it became known that hackers took over Sony’s networks, stole its data, and wreaked general havoc. But the impact it had on the company following the attack was truly shocking.

A new long-form report from Fortune unearths details about what happened. While it was known that the attack significantly altered how the company was doing business, we now know a few more juicy details.

Fortune writer Peter Elkind writes,

From the moment the malware was launched — months after the hackers first broke in — it took just one hour to throw Sony Pictures back into the era of the Betamax. The studio was reduced to using fax machines, communicating through posted messages, and paying its 7,000 employees with paper checks.

In short, the company was forced to operate like it had just entered a time machine and reemerged in 1993.

The reason they were forced to change their day-to-day routines so drastically is because the hackers caused so much damage. Not only did they post menacing messages on the computer screens of every employee and then steal all the data, but they also used “a special deleting algorithm that overwrote the data seven different ways.”

This kind of insane malicious hacking is precisely what causes a thought-to-be modern company to go completely analogue.

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