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December 1, 2014

Films leaked after Guardians of Peace hack Sony

War film Fury downloaded more than 1.2 million times in wake of hack for ‘equality’.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Five films yet to be released to DVD were leaked onto the internet last week, during an attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The war film Fury, which stars Brad Pitt and has yet to finish its run at the cinema, was downloaded more than 1.2 million times according to piracy tracker Excipio.

A Sony spokeswoman told the entertainment magazine Variety: "The theft of Sony Pictures Entertainment content is a criminal matter, and we are working closely with law enforcement to address it."

Other films leaked include an adaptation of the musical Annie; Mr Turner, a biopic of the artist; a drama about Alzheimer’s disease called Still Alice; and To Write Love On Her Arms, a film about mental health from a nonprofit of the same name – accruing 400,000 downloads between them.

Various media groups have speculated that the attack was prompted by the upcoming release of comedy film The Interview on Christmas Day, which tells the story of two journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate the dictator of North Korea.

A spokesman for North Korea previously told a state news agency that the film was a "most blatant act of terrorism and war", adding that "a merciless counter-measure will be taken".

However, The Verge published an article after reportedly being contacted by one of the hackers responsible, saying that the group had been assisted by someone from within Sony and was working for "equality" – though it was unclear what that meant.

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"Sony doesn’t lock their doors, physically, so we worked with other staff with similar interests to get in," the source wrote. "I’m sorry I can’t say more, [the] safety for our team is important."

The Group, who call themselves the Guardians of Peace (GOP), shut down the company’s networks in the attack before demanding a ransom of some sort, claiming to have obtained the firm’s "top secrets".

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