According to unnamed sources at Sony and the FBI, the agency is contacting the over 200 theaters which are planning to screen “The Interview” beginning on Thursday, giving the businesses a warning to be prepared for possible cyber attacks.
Apparently, the FBI sent out a roster of the theaters screening the controversial film to cyber task forces in FBI field offices on Wednesday. The current plan is that FBI agents will call or visit ever theater to inform them of possible threats that could result from their decision to screen the movie. The officials emphasized that there is no actionable intelligence on a plot against moviegoers or the physical security of theaters.
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Officials say the main worry is that the theaters who do choose to screen the film could be targets of hacking. The FBI’s cyber task forces are working together with the Joint Terrorism Task Force to identify and neutralize any cyber attacks.
Sony in close communication with the FBI
Also of note, Sony Pictures has been working closely with the FBI regarding its plans for releasing the movie. FBI officials say they have been “fully engaged” with Sony, who has been coordinating closely with federal law enforcement since the hacking incident a few weeks ago.
Sony backtracked and decided to go ahead with “The Interview”
The decision to go ahead with screenings of The Interview comes after Sony Pictures had initially decided not to premiere the controversial movie on Christmas Day. After a groundswell of public support, including from President Obama, the studio decided to go ahead and release the film.
Agroup of hackers broke into Sony’s servers a couple of weeks ago, then published personal emails and other private company information and even threatened to attack on theaters screening the movie. U.S. authorities have identified North Korea as the culprit behind the Sony cyber attack. The Interview is a comedy premised on the idea of two American visitors assassinating the president of North Korea.