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Sony hackers threaten 9/11-style attacks at screenings of The Interview

12/16/2014 03:00 EST | Updated 02/15/2015 05:59 EST
The hackers behind the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment are pledging to target upcoming screenings of The Interview with Sept. 11-style attacks in the latest release from the anonymous group.

A group calling itself the Guardians of Peace sent the ominous latest message to journalists Tuesday.

The threat, quoted in industry publications like the Hollywood Reporter and Variety, specifically mentions the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy, and warns people to "keep yourself distant" from theatres that show it.

The film is slated to go into wide release on Dec. 25.

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"How bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to," reads the missive, which is full of grammatical errors.

"Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made," it continues, "The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001."

Thousands of people were killed when a group of Islamic extremists hijacked U.S. passenger jets and flew them into the twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington on Sept. 11, 2001.

Read the full threat: 

Warning:

We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places "The Interview" be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.

Ominous data dump

The hackers also distributed their promised "Christmas gift" of files mentioned in an early message delivered over the weekend.

It's not clear what they contain, but the files are reportedly named "Michael Lynton," who is the CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Highly sensitive material from the entertainment unit of Tokyo-based Sony Corp. has been leaked almost daily since hackers broke into its computer networks last month, including unreleased movies and embarrassing emails between executives.

Movie producer Scott Rudin and Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal issued apologies last week after stolen emails revealed them making racially charged jokes about U.S. President Obama. 

Earlier releases included a script and production notes for the new James Bond movie SPECTRE.

Speculation has been rampant that North Korea sponsored the attack over the new Sony movie The Interview, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Pyongyang denies any involvement in the hack, but has condemned the film.

Ex-employees sue Sony

Two former employees of Sony are suing the company for not preventing hackers from stealing nearly 50,000 social security numbers, salary details and other personal information from current and former workers.

The federal suit alleges that emails and other information leaked by the hackers show that Sony's information-technology department and its top lawyer believed its security system was vulnerable to attack, but that the company did not act on those warnings. The plaintiffs are asking for compensation for fixing credit reports, monitoring bank accounts and other costs as well as damages.

The suit filed Tuesday in U.S. district court in California seeks class-action status.

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