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Sony Pictures Entertainment has agreed to pay up to $8 million (approximately £5.2 million) to both existing and former employees to settle claims emanating from last year’s data breach.
An agreement was filed in a district court in Los Angeles, US, detailing the breakdown of payments that the company will commit itself to. It still needs to be approved by judge Gary Klausner.
Sony says that it will pay approximately $10,000 per person as compensation for “identity theft losses”, with the total amount being capped at $2.5 million.
A further $1,000 will also be delivered to individuals for costs pertaining to credit card fraud protection services (and this will be capped at $2 million). Finally, £3.5 million has been earmarked for legal fees.“An important, positive step forward in putting the cyberattack firmly behind us”.
Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said in a memo to staff yesterday (20th October) that the deal represents “an important, positive step forward in putting the cyberattack firmly behind us”.
Towards the end of 2014, it was revealed that cybercriminals had broken into Sony’s computer systems and then dumped swathes of information that it had accessed onto the world wide web.
A group, though to be from North Korea and identifying itself as Guardians of Peace, claimed responsibility.
It said that the attack was in response to the impending cinematic release of the satirical comedy The Interview, which it viewed as being inflammatory.
A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman described the film, which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, as an “act of terrorism”.
The studio then made the unprecedented decision to withdraw the movie from general release, resulting in widespread condemnation from Hollywood.
Actor Rob Lowe tweeted at the time: “Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. A complete and utter victory for them. Hollywood has done Neville Chamberlain proud today.”
Author Karl Thomas, ESET