Sony Pictures Hack Settlement May Cost the Studio up to $8 Million

The Interview
Moviegoers had to download a copy of ‘The Interview’ after it was pulled from theatres.

Hollywood Studio Sony Pictures Entertainment has agreed to pay between $5.5 million to $8 million as a settlement sum toward employees who filed a lawsuit against the studio, alleging that their personal data was breached and stolen during the infamous 2014 Sony Pictures hack.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. has reached a settlement with current and former employees after being the target of a hack last year where a hacking group calling themselves the “Guardians of Peace” made good on their threat to expose personal information and corporate emails of Sony Pictures’ employees in their successful attempt to derail the release of “The Interview” in theatres.

The settlement was filed with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles after the studio agreed to pay up to $8 million to reimburse past and current employees for legal fees, losses and preventative measures.

The settlement details include:

  • Identity theft reimbursement of up to $10,000 per employee, capped at $2.5 million.
  • Coverage of credit-fraud protection services of up to $1,000 per employee, capped at $2 million.
  • A figure of up to $3.5 million to cover legal fees.

In what is commonly known as one of the most high-profile entertainment industry related hacks in recent history, the subsequent leaks included corporate emails, employee records and even the movie script for the upcoming Bond film, Spectre.

The drama played out like a soap opera in the media and the incident even threatened to derail the fickle ties of diplomacy between the United States and North Korea, the latter who, with state-backed hackers are alleged to have committed the hack. President Obama even signed an executive order that placed sanctions on North Korea in a direct result of the Sony hack.

Sony Pictures also came under much criticism beyond its weak state of cybersecurity while trying to silence journalists and publications covering the story of the breach.

Among the finger-pointing, speculation was rife that the breach may have been an inside job.

In sending a memo to staff Tuesday, Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment called the settlement “an important, positive step forward in putting the cyber-attack firmly behind us.”

The full settlement, courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter, can be found here.

Images from Shutterstock.

Samburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.