On Tuesday, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said his department takes the hackers' threats "very seriously" and will be taking extra precautions during the holidays at theaters. Patrick Corcoran, spokesman for the National Association of Theater Owners, wouldn't comment on the threats.
In their warning Tuesday, the hackers suggested Sony employees make contact via several disposable email addresses ending in "yopmail.com." Frenchman Frederic Leroy, who started up the YOPmail site in 2004, was surprised to learn the Sony hackers were using YOPmail addresses. He said there was no way he could identify the users.
"I cannot see the identities of people using the address ... There is no name, no first name," he said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. He said YOPmail is used around the world but there are "hundreds and hundreds" of other disposable email sites.
Leroy, who lives in Barr, outside Strasbourg in eastern France, said he heard about the Sony hackers yesterday on the radio but knows nothing more. He said he has not been contacted by any authorities.
Since Sony Pictures was hacked by GOP late last month — one of the largest data breaches ever against a U.S. company — everything from financial figures to salacious emails between top Sony executives has been dumped online.
Separately Tuesday, two former Sony film production workers sued Sony Pictures Entertainment over the data breach. They alleged the Culver City, California, company waited too long to notify employees that data such as Social Security numbers, salaries and medical records had been stolen.
The filing comes one day after two other former Sony employees filed a suit accusing the company of negligence in not bolstering its defenses against hackers before the attack. It claims 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 and that company did not act on those warnings.
Both cases seek class-action status to represent current and former Sony employees whose private data were posted online.
Sony has not responded to phone calls for comments about the hacker threat and the suits.
The Associated Press