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Sony hackers promise 'Christmas gift' of leaked data, offer to redact Sony staff members' data

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A message apparently from the people behind last month's Sony Pictures hack is offering to remove employees' information from upcoming data dumps. The post, signed GOP or Guardians of Peace, includes links to new files, but it also says that hackers are preparing a Christmas gift of "more interesting" data that will "put Sony Pictures into the worst state."

"If you don't want your privacy to be released, tell us your name and business title."

Previous leaks have included studio notes on recent films, tens of thousands of social security numbers, and details about upcoming movies, including The Interviewthe Seth Rogen film that put Sony in the hackers' line of fire. The group's exact goals aren't specific, but it's demanded Sony halt the release of The Interview, which involves the bloody death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. North Korea has denied involvement in the hack, but some suspicious signs point towards its involvement. "The sooner SPE accept our demands, the better, of course," this message reads. "The farther [sic] time goes by, the worse state SPE will be put into and we will have Sony go bankrupt in the end."

The group has invited readers to send an email "titled by 'Merry Christmas' ... to tell us what you want in our Christmas gift." But it's also claimed it will remove details from Sony staff if they ask directly, however trustworthy that claim is. "We have a plan to release emails and privacy of the Sony Pictures employees," it says. "If you don't want your privacy to be released, tell us your name and business title to take off your data." Previously released correspondence has proved embarrassing for Sony. Executive Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin apologized for what Rudin later called "thoughtless and insensitive" jokes about President Obama and African-American films, which were published in a batch of leaked emails.

While the hackers' identities remain unknown, Sony has been investigating the potential North Korean ties, and it's allegedly attempted to prevent the leaks from spreading by degrading the torrents used to distribute them. No matter who's behind it, though, they're unlikely to be caught or stopped any time soon.