North Korea strikes again in latest celebrity hacking scandal

Photo courtesy of Point Grey Pictures

Hollywood actors James Franco and Seth Rogen are the latest victims in a series of online security scandals.

The same North Korean hackers who allegedly breached Sony Pictures Entertainment back in November of 2014 have been credited with this latest incident. According to reports, the hackers were dissatisfied with Sony’s online release of The Interview, and have reacted by launching a direct attack on the stars of the film: as of last Tuesday morning, both Franco’s and Rogen’s recent online search histories were made publicly available on popular Internet forum 4chan.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Rogen, who also wrote, directed, and produced The Interview, tweeted after the information had been leaked. “You can’t just release a person’s search history. That shit is private, man. My grandmother saw those things.”

Examples of Rogen’s recent Google searches include: “Boobs,” “What is satire,” “Script for Team America: World Police,” and “Jonah Hill weight loss.”

Amongst Franco’s recent Google searches were: “Why do people hate my films,” “How to build hype for a terrible movie,” and “Where can I buy a selfie stick.”

While the complex reasons behind these searches have led to speculation on this new information, The Peak reached out to a professor of psychology at New York University, Edward Shrinkton, to analyse the leaked data.

“The search history reveals a lot about the individual,” suggested Shrinkton. “Rogen predominantly uses the Internet for pornography and to look for creative inspiration, indicating a very basic, almost caveman-like persona. Franco, on the other hand, is a deeply self-conscious individual trying to find his identity in an industry notorious for being artificial and lacking sincerity.”

The incident has since sparked widespread panic, as most people were seemingly unaware that this kind of cyber-crime was even possible. Google has noted a considerable rise in the use of the “incognito” tab in Chrome, as Internet users scramble to eliminate the digital trail of cookie crumbs tracing back to their most personal data.

In addition to the leaked information, Rogen’s personal computer was also wiped clean, destroying five primilinay scripts — including one for The Interview 2: Big Trouble in Little Korea. Because of this, the US government has decided to not retaliate against the other attacks.