Sony Boss Dismisses Financial Impact Of Hack

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Sony’s CEO doesn’t envisage a significant financial impact from notorious hack, despite the damage

The man in charge of Sony sees no major financial impact from the highly damaging cyber attack that took place last last year.

That is despite the fact that the hack caused extensive damage to Sony’s network and resulted in the company suspending the widespread release of its film ‘The Interview’.

Financial Impact

Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai spoke earlier this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where he condemned the “extortionist” cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November that led to the release of its film “The Interview” being suspended.

sony picturesThe hack penetrated Sony Pictures’ internal network and led to the leak of unreleased films, as well as the publication of embarrassing internal documents, including the salary details of top executives and personal information on Hollywood celebrities.

The hackers called themselves Guardians of Peace (GoP) and targeted the film because it is about an assassination plot against North Korea’s leader. The United States has officially blamed the hack on North Korea.

North Korea for its part has denied involvement in the attack, but said that the hack was a “righteous deed”.

The hackers later threatened attacks upon cinemas who released the film, and as a result most major cinema chains declined to screen the film, forcing Sony to pull the film, a decision that Hollywood stars and President Obama condemned. Following that, Sony released the film in a small number of independent cinemas and it was also distributed online by Sony, Microsoft, Google and Apple.

So far, “The Interview,” has generated revenue of $36m (£23m).

And now according to Reuters, Sony’s Hirai said that he does not expect the November cyber attack to have a significant financial impact. This is despite the fact that a previous hack in 2011, which exposed the account information of 77 million PlayStation Network and Qriocity users, reportedly cost the company $171.2m (£113m) in losses.

Sony Response

Speaking at CES, Hirai also said that he had personally signed off on all major decisions by the company in response to the attack. The hack crippled Sony’s network, and employees were said to have resorted to using pen and paper, fax machines and BlackBerry handsets in the aftermath.

“We are still reviewing the effects of the cyber attack,” Hirai reportedly said. “However, I do not see it as something that will cause a material upheaval on Sony Pictures business operations, basically, in terms of results for the current fiscal year.”

“I have to say that I’m very proud of all the employees, and certainly the partners who stood up against the extortionist efforts of criminals, and worked tirelessly, sometimes for days on end to bring you ‘The Interview’,” Hirai said.

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