June 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Sony Pictures Settles with Ex-Employees over Hacking Scandal

Courtesy Image
Courtesy Image

A federal judge today gave final approval to Sony Pictures’ multimillion-dollar settlement with former employees who sued the Culver City studio over its failure to protect the personal information of its workforce from computer hackers.

The settlement, approved by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, gives roughly 437,000 people impacted by the breach identity theft protection from the time of the 2014 hack through 2017.

Sony also agreed to provide an optional service that will cover up to $1 million in losses and create a fund to cover any additional losses.

An exact figure for the settlement is not yet available, because a deadline for workers to sign up for credit protection and reimbursement hasn’t yet passed.

The class-action lawsuit was filed in December 2014 — a month after the studio’s computer system was hacked — on behalf of eight ex-employees alleging that Sony ignored warnings that its system was prone to attack.

Hackers began releasing sensitive data from Sony computers after the massive security breach became public.

A group calling itself Guardians of Peace released data including thousands of pages of emails from studio chiefs, salaries of top executives and Social Security numbers of 47,000 current and former employees.

The cyberattack exposed employees to identity theft, embarrassed executives and celebrities with the release of off-color emails and crippled the studio’s digital infrastructure.

Federal authorities said North Korea carried out the hacking attack in response to the studio’s film “The Interview,” a dark comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The studio initially canceled the planned opening of the film, but later went ahead with the release, both in theaters and on various Internet streaming services.

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