It’s amazing how a series of events happening halfway around the World can cause a chain reaction and impact the lives of ordinary citizens. This is the true story of North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un’s involvement in an international cyber attack and how it directly affected my daughter and I.
Back in 2013, we were both background actors for the film Spiderman 2. We worked for one day and at the end of the year, each of us received a W2 statement for the day we worked. Our personal information such as our names, social security numbers and address were now on file with Sony Pictures Entertainment, the company that produced the film. A year later, the Sony film The Interview was about to have its theatrical release. This comedy starring Seth Rogan and James Franco was about two reporters who are hired by the CIA to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. With word of this controversial film getting out, the North Korean government warned against possible ramifications with the release of the comedy. Their government essentially threatened Sony. On December 1, 2014, Sony learned that hackers engaged in an all-out cyber-attack against them. As a result of this attack, thousands of confidential and embarrassing emails were exposed between Sony executives and many famous Hollywood celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Kevin Hart, Channing Tatum, George Clooney, Alex Trebek and Will Smith. You can read more about the story here.
The film was so controversial that on December 17, 2014, Sony announced that it was pulling the theatrical release due to terrorist threats. Sony decided to release it on DVD and a limited theatrical release.
A week later on December 24, my daughter and I each received a letter in the mail from Sony. Part of the letter read:
“…your work with [Sony] may potentially have been compromised as a result of such brazen cyber attack.”, and “…personally identifiable information that you provided to [Sony] may have been obtained by unauthorized individuals…”.
With the above letter, Sony offered my daughter and I one full year of identity protection services at no charge since both of our personal information was now compromised.
On December 19, the FBI confirmed that the North Korean government was behind the Sony hack. No doubt the directive came from Kim Jong-Un himself.
My daughter and I became implicated in this whole North Korean hacking story simply because we wanted to have fun being in a film. Little did we know what would unfold a year after we worked on it and how it would involve us on a personal level. World events can affect us all.