When Sony Pictures’ computers were hacked on Thanksgiving, its employees were forced to use older technologies to keep things running, according to reports by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Staff relayed details about the hack from one person to another via phone, and had to haul in old machines to issue physical checks instead of transferring salaries through bank deposit. Sony execs also reverted to old BlackBerry company phones — as they can send and receive emails through their own servers. These reports don’t only shed light on what happened (and what continues to happen) behind the scenes at Sony, they also give us a glimpse at how the investigation was handled.
While the company quickly got in touch with the feds, employees initially thought it was nothing more than an inconvenience they could patch up within a few weeks. Even Sony Entertainment Chief Executive , Michael Lynton, told NYT that it took 24 to 36 hours for the situation to sink in and “to fully understand this was not something [they] were going to be able to recover from in the next week or two.” Thanksgiving weekend then became a crucial and extremely busy period for the company, as the internal IT team struggled to get Sony’s emails working again.
It took 24 to 36 hours for the situation to sink in… to fully understand this was not something [they] were going to be able to recover from in the next week or two.
Meanwhile, the feds and a cyber-security team from FireEye Inc. set up their own headquarters nearby. They suspected North Korea a week into the investigation and eventually determined that the hackers ( the Guardians of Peace) stole log-in credentials from a systems administrator, harvested data from the computers and used malware to delete them all. The WSJ says FireEye’s investigators still aren’t 100 percent sure whether they’ve completely blocked off the hackers from Sony’s systems. But if the company’s network remains secure, it could be up and running again within the next eight weeks.
SOURCE: Mariella Moon