Sony  Corp
Sony CorpReuters

A notorious hacking group that goes by the name "#GOP" or the Guardians of Peace has found a new target. Sony Pictures Entertainment was hit by hackers on Monday, taking all computer systems offline after the IT department called for an emergency lock-down. The news of a cyber attack on Sony's servers came to light after a thread appeared on Reddit showing an image that appeared on all employees' computers.

The image, posted by the hackers on the Sony systems, read, "Hacked By #GOP" in bold letters with a scowling skeleton in the background. The poster was more of a blackmail message, threatening to release Sony's secret data if demands were not met. The hacker group did not specify its demands but gave a deadline and links to what appear to be .zip files for a number of sensitive documents.

"We already warned you, and this is just a beginning. We continue till our request be met. We've obtained all of your internal data including your secrets and top secrets. If you don't obey us, we'll release the data shown below to the world," the message reads.

As a result of the attack, all Sony employees were warned against using the corporate network for any purpose, a source confirmed to The Next Web.

In another exclusive report from Deadline, one Sony employee said they were unable to use their computers, send emails or even answer phones. "We are down, completely paralyzed," the person said.

It is unclear what data the hackers have gathered with the breach but the documents named in the .zip file are varied, hinting at full contents of an employee server. Sources claim the estimated time to solve the issue might extend anywhere from one day to three weeks, Variety reports.

For Sony, this isn't the first time it has been cyber attacked. In 2011, the company's PlayStation network was hacked and a similar breach was done in August this year.

Sony's response to queries is that it is investigating the "IT matter."