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Hackers to Sony staff: Email us to keep your secrets private

Hackers to Sony staff: Email us to keep your secrets private

The latest message is accompanied by more leaked emails

The hackers who stole gigabytes of data from Sony Pictures have asked employees of the company to contact them if they don't want their information to become public.

A message posted to the Internet on Sunday in the name of the "GOP," or "Guardians of Peace" group, made the offer while renewing a threat to release more corporate documents apparently stolen from Sony Pictures during a November hack.

"We have a plan to release emails and privacy of the Sony Pictures employees," the message said. "If you don't want your privacy to be released, tell us your name and business title to take off your data."

Several addresses on anonymous email services accompanied the message. They were the same ones used on Saturday when the group repeated its demands for Sony to contact it or see the release of a "Christmas gift."

It's unclear whether the offer is sincere or perhaps an attempt to contact Sony staff with a view to a further cyber attack. It comes after the hackers released thousands of sensitive emails sent between Sony executives, to employees and to others in the movie industry.

"The sooner SPE accept our demands, the better, of course," the most recent message said. "The farther time goes by, the worse state SPE will be put into and we will have Sony go bankrupt in the end."

The message was accompanied by links to what hackers said was a new release of data, apparently the email box of Steven O'Dell, president of international releasing at Sony Pictures.

While the message follows the pattern set in previous communications by the hackers, it was not possible to verify the identity of the person sending it or immediately to verify the contents of the data released.

Also over the weekend, Sony attempted to stop media organizations from reporting on the documents leaked so far. Nearly identical letters sent to several reporters told them to destroy the files and cease their reporting on their contents. Media lawyers have said it might be difficult for Sony to stop the reports.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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