[ISN] An Exclusive Look at Sony’s Hacking Saga

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/02/sony-hacking-seth-rogen-evan-goldberg BY MARK SEAL Vanity Fair March 2015 At 8:30 A.M. on November 24, the Monday before Thanksgiving, Amy Pascal arrived in her office in the Thalberg building, on the Sony Pictures lot, in Culver City, California. Pascal, 56, is among the most powerful people in Hollywood. Having spent 35 years in the trenches—from low-level secretary to her current job as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, the global television-digital-and-motion-picture conglomerate—she has earned the expansive third-floor office that was occupied by studio head Louis B. Mayer, in the 1930s and 1940s, when the Sony lot was the domain of mighty Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Mayer was known as “the Lion of Hollywood.” It was on these soundstages and movie sets that Atlanta was burned in Gone with the Wind and Dorothy followed the Yellow Brick Road to Oz. Since Sony and a consortium of investors purchased MGM, in 2005, its films have earned 142 Academy Award nominations, 10 of them for best picture. The studio’s secrets were safe in Mayer’s day, when they died within the walls of a soundproof telephone room adjoining his office. Pascal believed she didn’t need the soundproof room. Like everyone else in the entertainment industry these days, she communicated through e-mail that was believed to be secure. But this morning, as she began her day, she discovered that a bizarre specter had hijacked her computer. The screen glowed with a blood-red skeleton baring its fangs, and the words “Hacked By #GOP.” Superimposed over the skeleton was an ominous warning: We’ve obtained all your internal data including your secrets and top secrets. If you don’t obey us, we’ll release data shown below to the world. The “data” below consisted of five links that would turn out to be the internal records of the entertainment giant. Pascal thought it was a joke. Still, she called Michael Lynton, 55, Sony Pictures’ C.E.O. and chairman, who occupies an office down the hall. He and Pascal have been a team for nearly a decade now; Lynton handles administration and business affairs, leaving Pascal free to deal with the creative side of making movies. […]