The fallout from the criminal hack into all things Sony Pictures is already vast and wide, and it is only going to get worse. Two former employees launched a class-action suit against the studio Tuesday charging negligence. According to the suit, Sony was warned about weaknesses in their computer security but refused to act.
The suit seeks to prove that this negligence resulted in the leaking of personal information about thousands of employees, past and present. This information included salaries, Social Security numbers, and untold numbers of private emails.
Sony “failed to secure its computer systems, servers and databases, despite weaknesses that it has known about for years” and “subsequently failed to timely protect confidential information of its current and former employees from law-breaking hackers,” according to the complaint filed late Monday by the Seattle law firm, Keller Rohrback.
Hackers began releasing sensitive data after the studio’s security breach became public on Nov. 24. The group, calling itself Guardians of Peace, has 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 hackers, who call themselves the Guardians of Peace, have already released about a half-dozen document dumps to any number of media outlets. They have promised more, including a Christmas surprise.
The nightmare this hack thrust Sony into is just beginning. Speculation is already swirling about the future of Sony Pictures chair Amy Pascal after emails surfaced of her and producer Scott Rudin making racist jokes about President Obama. Due to catty emails never meant to go public, relationships have apparently been strained between Sony and stars like Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kevin Hart.
The hack is almost certain to affect the entertainment industry as a whole. Inside details on salaries and perks represent the kind of leverage agents and managers live for.
Sony is demanding media outlets stop reporting on information gained through a criminal act.
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