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Sony Pictures Entertainment agreed to pay $8 million to cover expenses tied to losses resulting from identity theft in a settlement with current and former employees on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Some representatives of the entertainment giant suffered the identity theft during the widespread hack of the company’s computers last year, according to the Associated Press.
Known as the Guardians of Peace, the hackers breached the computers at the studio in an effort to stop the release of the North Korean-focused comedy The Interview. It was reported that company officials, deterred by the efforts of the Guardians of Peace, reconsidered releasing the movie as planned. Several emails and documents that included personal information such as Social Security numbers were released during the attack. The hack also led to the departure of then-Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal because the leak included several of her personal emails, including ones in which she made insensitive racial remarks about President Obama and his particular taste in movies.
Sony’s agreement to settle for $8 million included an allocation of up to $10,000 per person with a $2.5 million dollar maximum to compensate workers for any losses due to identity theft, up to $3.5 million for legal fees, and up to $1,000 for each person affected to pay credit fraud protection fees. Although the U.S. government has placed the blame for the attack on North Korea, no one has been prosecuted at this time.
According to CEO Kazuo Hirai of Sony, the incident has led to a more resilient management team. Hirai added that there was not much of a business impact, other than the $8 million settlement the company has agreed to pay. Nonetheless, Sony has taken measures to avoid another security breach and subsequent fallout.
By Jireh Gibson
AP: Sony settles hacking lawsuit, to pay up $8 million
Image Courtesy of Yuri Samoilov’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License