Former Employees File Lawsuit Against Sony Over Data Breach
Sony Pictures Entertainment’s servers were hacked last month that resulted in leakage of data related to thousands of current and former employees. Two former Sony employees have now filed a class-action lawsuit against the company.
Lawyers representing the employees filed the lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles. The lawyers claim in 45-page complaint that Culver City studio ignored the warnings that its computer systems were prone to attack, and that their ignorance resulted in leakage of personal information of their employees.
Seattle law firm Keller Rohrback is the one representing the employees. The law firm alleged Sony Pictures Entertainment that the company has been aware of shortcomings of its computer systems yet it didn’t take any measures to make their systems secure.
“Sony failed to secure its computer systems, servers and databases, despite weaknesses that it has known about for years,” state the lawyers in the complaint filed on Monday. “(Sony) subsequently failed to timely protect confidential information of its current and former employees from law-breaking hackers.”
Hackers started releasing sensitive information about the employees after November 24 when the breach became public. The leaked information includes thousands of pages of emails from studio chiefs, salaries of top executives, and Social Security numbers of 47,000 current and former employees.
Among the emails that were leaked, there is an email conversation between studio’s co-chairman Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin in which they discussed whether President Obama prefers black-themed films such as “The Butler.” Both of the executives have now apologized for their remarks.
The group behind this security breach called themselves as Guardians of Peace. The attacks are suspected to be originated from North Korea as the hackers have demanded that Sony cancel the release of The Interview, which is expected to be released on December 25th. The movie is a comedy depicting a fictional assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jung Un.
The employees weren’t so concerned about the security breach until they started receiving threatening emails from the group of hackers. The email written in broken English asked employees to disassociate themselves with the company. “If you don’t, not only you but your family will be in danger,” the message said.
The lawsuit further claims that Sony put the lives of employees in danger by not taking necessary actions. Moreover, Sony failed to notify former employees about the security breach.
Despite being aware of the fact that their computers were vulnerable, Sony made a business decision to continue to operate without upgrading their computer systems. Now this would have cost Sony millions of dollars.
Sony has declined to comment on the lawsuit.
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