Last November, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s servers were deliberately hacked by still unidentified group who call themselves the “Guardians of Peace”. Although investigation led that some North Koreans most probably did it, investigators are still blind about the real identities of the culprits. The ruckus stemmed from the comedy film “The Interview” which is owned by Sony and scheduled to be shown on December 25 in some US theaters.
A Bad Film?
Although a lot of people are more curious to see the movie, the North Koreans protested that this is clearly a depiction of a Western film with bad intentions. The movie depicts the plot to assassinate North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un by two American TV hosts and involved in the plan is the CIA.
In this light, North Korea threatened the U.S of “merciless countermeasures” if the movie continues with its showing date. Sony did not budge, however. And in November 24, the hacking happened. Hacked were 5 movies, classified data of celebrities under Sony and even the employees’ personal and financial data.
However, even though Sony is still reeling from the blow while the celebrities working under Sony are worried about their personal and financial data on a board to a dangerous track, the employees of Sony also have the open wounds to worry about and that’s because their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) were also included among the hacked data.
The PII is used within US privacy law and it keeps a lot of information of employees who are working under companies. The PII may include employees’ Social Security numbers, medical information, salaries, employment files and anything that regards to the employees’ legal documents.
Yet, nobody among Sony employees raised a finger and showed an angry face at Sony even though the hacking of their files is clearly a negligence on the part of the company. Until few days ago (December 15), two former employees of Sony filed a case against their former company on the count of failing to secure the company’s computer system which inadvertently exposed the information of the company’s hardworking employees.
The Complainants’ Concern
Michael Corona who have worked for Sony from 2004 to 2007 and Christina Mathis who was employed from 2000-2002 stated in their complaints that in spite that Sony had a history of getting hacked which brings up the hacking of Playstation Network in 2011 wherein the PII of the Network’s more than 100 million gamers have been hacked, it still did not properly protected itself and have been very negligent with its employees’ financial securities.
Furthermore, the complaint also stated that Sony owed a legal duty to its employees including its executives and must maintain the proper security measures in protecting, securing and safeguarding everybody’s PII that are stored in Sony’s database. In the event of hacking, Sony has clearly breached its duty by not properly securing the personal data of the employees and failing to create and implement appropriate firewalls and total computer security systems which resulted to losing control and personal data.
Today, although Sony, according to Recode has already bandaged the drip by harnessing AmazonWeb Services which hosts Netflix and Instagram and be able to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) on websites particularly free torrent sites, people still assumed that the damage that has been done cannot ultimately be restored.
Sony’s Pulling Off
On other news, as of this writing, Sony’s CEO Michael Lynton announced that it is “temporarily” pulling off the date of the showing of “The Interview”. Accordingly, the same groups who have hacked Sony’s files have threatened that any cinema that will be running the film may get attacked like the 9/11 style which has forced cinema owners to cancel the show.
Lynton said this understandable and the company will accede. Moreover, Lynton added that the decision of the company to cancel the movie is not actually permanent and Sony will still be looking at other ways or platform in showing the movie to those who intend to watch it.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama is not happy about Sony’s decision in pulling off saying this is a mistake and somebody from Sony should have talked this to him prior to the company’s decision.
Obama said, “We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.” Yet, Lynton said Sony is not caving in to the hacker’s threats and demand but it will remain on the lookout for other ways in bringing out the movie.