Sony demands that news outlets stop using hacked data

Sony is trying to determine whether North Korean hackers are the source of the leaks, according to tech website Re/code. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Sony is trying to determine whether North Korean hackers are the source of the leaks, according to tech website Re/code. -- PHOTO: AFP 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Sony Pictures Entertainment pressed media outlets on Sunday against using data hackers may have leaked about the studio.

In the letter sent to groups including The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter, lawyer David Boies said the "stolen information" must be destroyed and should not make it to publication.

The studio "does not consent to your possession, review, copying, dissemination, publication, uploading, downloading or making any use of the stolen information, and to request your cooperation in destroying the stolen information", he wrote in the three-page letter.

The demand comes amid a series of damaging leaks about salaries, employee health records, unpublished scripts and email exchanges about movie stars and film-makers. The information has been published by websites including Gawker.

The FBI has launched an investigation.

The unflattering leaks - including a producer labeling Angelina Jolie a "minimally talented spoiled brat" - have thrown Sony into damage control mode, amid few signs they are going to stop any time soon.

Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal was also shown to have made racially insensitive remarks about President Barack Obama - the first black president of the United States - in company emails.

A group that claims to have hacked Sony's servers has demanded that the movie studio pull a soon-to-be-released comedy depicting a fictional CIA plot to kill North Korea's leader.

Sony is trying to determine whether North Korean hackers are the source of the leaks, according to tech website Re/code.

North Korea, however, has denied involvement in the brazen cyber attack on Sony Pictures, but praised it as a "righteous deed" potentially orchestrated by supporters furious over the movie The Interview, due out on Christmas Day.