Sony hacker scandal scarier than a slasher film

What if everything your colleagues, friends and rivals say privately about you was made public?

How would you feel about everybody knowing how much money you made, the projects you're secretly working on and all the things you don't dare share on Facebook or Twitter?

If you don't think you and everyone you know is vulnerable, think again.

Milwaukee's Hold Security told The New York Times earlier this year that a Russian crime ring had collected 1.2 billion user name and password combos and more than 500 million email addresses by scraping what they could from wherever they saw vulnerability, from major corporations' computer networks to small websites.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has been pushing for legislation that would get the Department of Homeland Security more involved in the nation's cybersecurity.

Perhaps an even greater priority should be to establish an organization that investigates cyberattacks with the goal of better safeguards to protect ourselves and our systems the way the National Transportation Safety Board investigates plane crashes and makes recommendations.

"I know lame-duck sessions are not always productive and this … has not been a productive Congress, but I don't think we can afford to wait when it comes to cybersecurity," McCaul said last month at a Council on Foreign Relations event. "I think that every day we wait, if an attack occurs — and we're getting hit every day — but if a greater attack occurs, it's going to be on the head of Congress for not acting."

The FBI is investigating the Sony hack, which North Korea denied involvement in but issued a statement that "the hacking ... might be a righteous deed."

The screed alluded to the studio's role in producing "a film abetting a terrorist act while hurting the dignity of the (nation's) supreme leadership" and warned Sony, the United States, South Korea and all others who oppose it that "the righteous reaction will get stronger to smash the evildoings."

There are many more enemies out there just as angry and perhaps more capable of causing trouble.

Sony has a remake of "I Know What You Did Last Summer" in the pipeline due out in 2016. What's been siphoned off digitally in 2014 signals "They Might Know Everything."

And if you think that's scary, you'll want to avoid the sequels.

Twitter @phil_rosenthal

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