Honorable mention: Company's inner workings completely exposed
On Nov. 24, 2014, staffers at Sony Pictures Entertainment, the movie and television production division of Sony, had their computer screens hijacked by a grinning skull. A group calling itself Guardians of Peace said it had taken over the corporate network and would release detailed company information online if unspecified demands weren't met.
Within days, gigabytes of internal Sony Pictures data appeared on file-sharing sites, including Social Security numbers and scanned passports belonging to actors and executives, internal passwords, unpublished scripts, marketing plans, financial and legal information and even four entire unreleased Sony movies.
The company's 6,800 employees, plus an estimated 40,000 other individuals the company had paid over previous years, were placed at dire risk of identity theft, and rival Hollywood studios got a detailed blueprint of Sony Pictures' accounts, future plans and internal workings.
Some rumors blamed North Korea, others disgruntled insiders. Whatever the cause, the incident threatened the very survival of Sony Pictures Entertainment as a company and may be the most damaging corporate data breach ever.
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