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Hacking tale takes wild turns

In recent days, media articles about Sony Pictures Entertainment have morphed from leaks of embarrassing emails between company executives complaining about Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio to a story that now includes widely reported terrorism threats against moviegoers. The threats have compelled several theater chains to drop soon-to-be-released "The Interview," a Sony comedy featuring a plot involving North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Since so many theaters opted out, Sony has announced it will postpone the release without a new date being set.

Media speculation is that North Korean hackers are behind the theft of Sony data and release of emails, movie scripts, company employee health information and more. However, TMZ is reporting that company executives believe the hacking was done, at least in part, by someone who works for the studio or used to work for the studio.

No one has been charged with computer hacking crimes in the case, but Sony officials are apparently convinced that an insider had to be involved - possibly one of the IT personnel affected by several waves of layoffs over the past couple of years.

The evolution of the hacking tale has unwound much like a movie script that at times defies believability.

If Sony executives are correct, it's possible that a former employee might have gotten involved in a scheme to embarrass the company, but then saw the plans take an unexpected turn when threats of violence became the dominant theme. What possibly began as computer hacking activities by a disgruntled worker might well now involve criminal charges of the most serious kind.

It's not unusual for a compounding of problems to occur; someone hacks into a company's computer system or an individual's PC as a joke or on a dare or as a way to get them back for a perceived slight, and the next thing they know, they face criminal charges that are no laughing matter.

Computer hacking can involve a number of different activities and a wide variety of charges, all of which are best addressed by an experienced criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A. based in Orlando.

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