The recent Sony attack is considered one of the worst cyberattacks in US corporate history. The hackers stole over 100 terabytes of data, including personal data of thousands of employees and business partners.
So it’s not hard to imagine how chaotic it was for the 6,000 employees at Sony.
According to The Wall Street Journal, company email was immediately shut down after the attack, forcing every employee to resort to “an old-style communication network.” They relied on phones, gmail accounts and note pads to reach each other. They even took out old BlackBerrys because of smartphones’ own email servers, while paychecks had to be cut manually, using an old machine.
When Kevin Mandia of the cybersecurity firm FireEye was brought in to clean up the mess, he described the damage as “unprecedented in the history of corporate cyberhacks,” it says.
In fact, despite all the investigation, it’s still unclear who was behind the attacks, and according to the WSJ report, it will take another eight weeks to fully restore Sony’s network.
And if anything, this should all serve as a wake up call to every company in America.
As the WSJ report points out, the way Sony treated corporate security was pretty subpar. Despite suffering from a massive hack in 2011, which resulted in losing personal data of over 100 million Playstation users, Sony seems to have mismanaged its cybersecurity system again. Although it beefed up its security team and firewalls, it still failed to “monitor one firewall and 148 other pieces of computer gear” while turning over its cybersecurity work in-house, the report says.
And this will only result in long-term damages, as Sony CEO Michael Lynton said, “”It took me 24 or 36 hours to fully understand this was not something we were going to be able to recover from in the next week or two.”
On Nov. 24, computer screens of Sony employees flashed a warning indicating the company’s computer systems had been compromised and data had been stolen.
Sony’s systems were crippled. A unknown group calling itself GOP claimed credit for the hack.
Hackers dumped information online and news organisations scrambled to cover every possible angle. Threats of violence against movie theatres led to Sony cancelling the Dec. 25 theatrical release of “The Interview,” a film in which Seth Rogen and James Franco play talk show hosts enlisted by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
American officials have concluded that North Korea was “centrally involved,” and the investigation is ongoing.
The movie was later released online and ended up being shown in some theatres on Christmas Day.