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- 11/08/15--16:37: _Hollywood Reporter ...
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- 11/10/15--06:04: _How the Sony Hack C...
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- 06/02/17--14:08: _Hollywood Brands Ha...
- 11/08/15--16:37: Hollywood Reporter Sued by Accountant Wrongly Tied to Sony Hack
- 11/08/15--17:02: The Sony Hack’s Key Players: Where Are They Now? (Photos)
- 11/25/15--10:47: Sony Hack Class Action Settlement Approved by Federal Judge
- 09/23/16--15:30: Celebrity Nudes to Credit Cards: 9 Big Hack Attacks (Photos)
- 12/26/16--08:02: Hacked Sony Music Account Falsely Reports Britney Spears Is Dead
- 06/02/17--14:08: Hollywood Brands Haunted by Hackers, From Disney to Sony (Photos)
The Hollywood Reporter has been sued by a freelance production accountant who claims that her career and reputation have been damaged by a story wrongly linking her to last year’s Sony cyberattack.
Nicole Basile’s suit claims that in a story headlined “
Basile is seeking more than $1.4 million in damages. She alleges that she has lost that much in earnings because she has not been able to get a job offer commensurate with her experience.
Basile also claims that the story, which was posted online on Dec. 3 last year and ran in the December 12 magazine, “falsely communicates, explicitly and by undisguised implication, that she was one of the hackers responsible for the infamous cyberattack on Sony.”
The suit quotes a passage from the article that names Basile:
Now the question of who is behind the attack has become a chilling Hollywood whodunit. While the hackers have identified themselves only as Guardians of Peace, emails pointing journalists to allegedly stolen files posted on a site called Pastebin came from a sender named ‘Nicole Basile.’ A woman by that name is credited on IMDb as an accountant on the studio’s 2012 hit film The Amazing Spider-Man, and her LinkedIn page says she worked at Sony for one year in 2011. Basile couldn’t be reached for comment and the studio declined to confirm if she works or has worked there.
Basile also contends that she was so stressed out by the report, that she experienced abdominal pains “so severe that her doctors suspected she had a serious internal problem, and performed surgery.”
The FBI eventually identified North Korea as responsible for the hack, although some security experts question that conclusion.
Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Prometheus Global Media.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
Amy PascalSony's co-chairman stepped down in February and started her own production company, Pascal Pictures, with a four-year contract for funding and distribution through Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). She is producing the all-female "Ghostbusters" film and the "Spider-Man" reboot.
[contextual-link post_id="423717" title="See Video" link_title="Amy Pascal Says She Was ‘Fired,’ Talks Leaked Sony Emails and Angelina Jolie" target=""]Michael LyntonLynton remains chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. He installed TriStar Productions chief Tom Rothman as head of Sony's motion picture group.
[contextual-link post_id="619088" title="See Video" link_title="Michael Lynton Says People Still Read His Stolen Sony Emails, Though He Hasn’t" target=""]
Tom RothmanRothman is now the Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group, replacing Pascal after she stepped down from her post in February.
[contextual-link post_id="461966" title="Also Read" link_title="New Sony Movie Chief Tom Rothman Calls Studio ‘Unbroken, Unbowed’ After Hack" target=""]Steve MoskoMosko served as the Head of Television Division of Sony Pictures Entertainment from 2001 until October 2015, when he was made Chairman of Sony Pictures Television.
[contextual-link post_id="601463" title="Also Read" link_title="Sony TV Promotes Steve Mosko to Chairman" target=""]Scott RudinIn a hacked email, the producer said Angelina Jolie "was seriously out of her mind" in jostling over David Fincher's next project (either "Steve Jobs" or her planned "Cleopatra"). "I’m not destroying my career over a minimally talented spoiled brat,” he added. Rudin most recently produced "Steve Jobs" -- with director Danny Boyle, not Fincher -- and next year's "Zoolander 2."
[contextual-link post_id="389972" title="Also Read" link_title="Sony’s Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin Apologize for Racially Insensitive Remarks About President Obama" target=""]Clint CulpepperScreen Gems' president called Kevin Hart a “whore” in an email to a colleague after the actor sought an increase in salary for his personal promotions.
Hart responded, “I worked very hard to get where I am today. I look at myself as a brand and because of that I will never allow myself to be taken advantage of.” Culpepper is still president of the production company.
[contextual-link post_id="459641" title="Also Read" link_title="Sony Leak: 28 Lies Hollywood Agents Tell Studio Executives About Their Actor Clients" target=""]Angelina JolieProducer Scott Rudin had harsh words for Jolie regarding her plans to develop a new version of "Cleopatra." The project never came together, but Jolie will soon release "By the Sea," a drama she wrote, directed and stars in with husband Brad Pitt.
[contextual-link post_id="458546" title="Also Read" link_title="11 Revelations From WikiLeaks’ Sony Hack Emails" target=""]Leonardo DiCaprioIn an email, Sony's then-co-chairman Amy Pascal called DiCaprio "despicable" when he backed out of "Steve Jobs." The actor stars in the upcoming drama "The Revenant."
[contextual-link post_id="248465" title="Also Read" link_title="Leonardo DiCaprio Eyed to Play Steve Jobs; Danny Boyle in Talks to Direct" target=""]Seth Rogen and James FrancoThe hack revealed that Rogen made $8.4 million for co-directing and acting in "The Interview," while co-star Franco received $6.5 million. The film's overall budget was $44 million and included $241 for a “table of weed, coke, pills and panties," as well as $74,000 for two tigers, their handlers, and special “tiger accommodations.”
Rogen recently starred in "Steve Jobs" and has six more projects lined up, including "Neighbors 2." Franco also has multiple projects in the queue, including directing "The Long Home."
[contextual-link post_id="396351" title="Also Read" link_title="Sony to Release ‘The Interview’ in Theaters, on VOD Despite Threats (Exclusive)" target=""]Kevin HartScreen Gems President Clint Culpepper called Kevin Hart a “whore” in an email to a colleague after the actor sought a salary bump. “I worked very hard to get where I am today," Hart responded. "I look at myself as a brand and because of that I will never allow myself to be taken advantage of.” The actor just completed "Ride Along 2" for Universal.
[contextual-link post_id="500591" title="Also Read" link_title="Kevin Hart Teaches Will Ferrell Prison Trash Talk in ‘Get Hard’ Deleted Scene (Exclusive Video)" target=""]David FincherIn an email with the subject line “Well it ain’t ME,” the director who almost directed "Steve Jobs" blames the studio for the many leaks on that film -- compared to the more tight-lipped studios like Fox, with whom he worked on "Gone Girl."
“I had 15 meetings with Rosamund Pike [for "Gone Girl"] and her DEAL CLOSED before Variety OR The [Hollywood] Reporter ever ran a single blurb,” he said. “This is a CONTINUAL PROBLEM WITH SONY." Since then, Fincher has focused on producing Netflix's "House of Cards."
[contextual-link post_id="224121" title="Also Read" link_title="Steve Jobs Biopic: David Fincher Not in Talks to Direct, But He’s Taking the Meeting" target=""]Michael de Luca, the president of production at Sony, proved true all the gossip that surrounded his taking the studio job. The "Fifty Shades of Grey" producer left Sony in April shortly after Tom Rothman's promotion and took a producing deal with Universal.Michael FassbenderIn an email conversation with Sony's then-co-chairman Amy Pascal, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin was blunt about Fassbender, with whom he would end up working on "Steve Jobs." "I don't know who Michael Fassbender is and the rest of the world isn't going to care," Sorkin said. No doubt responding to the actor's frontal-nude scenes in "Shame," producer Michael de Luca wrote, "He just makes you feel bad to have normal-sized genitalia."
A year ago, Sony Pictures Entertainment became the target of a paralyzing computer hack, the first such cyberattack in the history of Hollywood.
It started as what seemed like a prank. Sony staffers arriving on Monday, Nov. 24, found their computers frozen on mocking images of co-chairmen Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal with a menacing message from the previously unknown “Guardians of Peace.”
It ended as an international incident, with the White House accusing North Korea of perpetrating the hack and unleashing the embarrassing leaks of confidential studio emails because of Kim Jong-un’s displeasure with being ridiculed in the Sony comedy “The Interview.”
Federal officials decried the incident as an attack on American “freedom of expression and way of life” and the U.S. seemed to retaliate when the Internet mysteriously went down in North Korea after the FBI accusations.
All because of a movie.
This week, TheWrap takes a closer look at how Sony and Hollywood have changed as a result of this historic attack.
We start the series today with a story that examines changes at the Culver City, Calif., movie studio in the past year with “Inside Sony Pictures a Year After the Hack: ‘It Takes a While to Turn a Ship This Big,'” accompanied by a photo gallery of where the players are now.
Tuesday will bring “How the Sony Hack Changed Hollywood: Fear, Ambivalence and a ‘Dose of Cold Water,'” accompanied by a close look at what has happened to the movies impacted by the information dump of executives’ once-private emails, from “The Interview” to “Spectre” to “
On Wednesday, we talk to cyber-security experts who discuss how well Hollywood has prepared for the next cyber attack.
We hope you learn as much from reading the series as we have in reporting and writing it. Read on.
A year after the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Hollywood is an industry culture mixed with fear, ambivalence and shattered illusions of privacy, industry analysts and insiders told TheWrap.
Collateral damage from the hack, called the worst on any U.S. corporation in history, is difficult to quantify: Jilted movie stars, runaway prestige films and executive-on-executive abuse litters the landscape of Sony and, by extension, all of show business.
What has this taught us to feel about our own privacy and the way we relate to each other in the business?
“Honestly, nothing feels safe anymore,” one high-ranking executive at a global tech company told TheWrap. “That level of exposure makes me question how people see me. And it definitely affects how I see other people.”
One of the greatest symbols of a culture shift is in the content of the hack itself: more than 170,000 stolen emails from Sony executives, fully indexed and searchable on Julian Assange’s Wikileaks site.
With 12 months in the rear-view, the emails stand as a 360-degree view into Hollywood’s entitlement, pettiness, self-satisfaction and deep-seated fears — still available to call up at a moment’s notice.
One executive from a Sony rival said that, to this day, the hack has her confronting the “delusion” of online privacy. “Everyone knows that your email is the property of your company and anything you write can be read and published — it’s not private. [The hack] was a dose of cold water,” the executive said.
“It’s less how a company behaves — it’s more the individual thinking long and hard about sending something. Even jokes,” the executive added. “Many times, I’ve had friends been like, ‘Oh, here’s a funny response.’ But out of context, would I want to read that response?”
For many in the industry, the Sony hack has provided a wake-up call to avoid committing any sensitive information to emails that might later be read by wider, unintended audiences.
“We talk offline now — it’s just how it is,” one top Los Angeles-based agent told TheWrap. “We pick up the phone or grab coffee. Even with gadgets, you see less phones on the table at lunch these days.”
Emotional fallout from such an insidious attack is normal, according to Clifford Neuman, Director of the Center for Computer Systems Security at USC.
“It drove home that there’s a need to only put things in writing you’d want to be seen. Whether its a memo, or someone’s opinion — email represented a certain amount of privacy that it no longer does,” Neuman said.
Still, there are signs the initial post-hack vigilance and self-reflection may prove fleeting.
“When that story broke, a lot of people’s knee-jerk reaction was ‘Oh, my God, are we safe?’ Then, ‘Oh, my God, I need to change my email habits,'” a top-level cable network executive told TheWrap. “Then slowly but surely… a majority fell back into the old habits.”
The cable executive said a handful of studios and production companies have worked to better protect top-level employees, or a “protected class” of individuals, with extra firewall power. Several major studios and media companies contacted by TheWrap declined to comment or denied the practice.
Some craftier employees have created alternate email accounts using aliases, the cable executive said, but most don’t have the good sense to use them outside company-owned buildings, making their content susceptible to hacking over Wifi connections. No solution seems safe enough. No work-around is impenetrable.
More troubling are no signs that the Sony hack has resulted in any sweeping changes in corporate policy across town. One rival studio simply ordered department managers to verbally reiterate routine security training for all its employees, according to an insider, and a similar shrug-off was also experienced by employees at another studio.
Perhaps most shockingly, some inside Sony itself report that there has been little discernible shift in corporate policy or behavior with regard to computer usage or cyber-security.
“There has been literally no change in how employees do business in terms of email use,” said one SPE employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Another senior SPE executive told TheWrap that post-hack legal documents now require password protection and that outside parties must even place a phone call to learn the password and open drafts.
Sony declined to comment on its security procedures.
There is a natural temptation to shift back into a state of complacency despite the magnitude of the harm that befell Sony.
“Is this like a college or a theater shooting where people talk about it and then forget it?” one exec who works closely with Sony wondered.
At least for senior levels at most studios, though, there seems to be a greater awareness that stepping up cyber-security reduces the risk of catastrophic harm.
“This is a tectonic shift, an event that made everybody hyper-aware of what’s a stake and what can happen if you have your guard down,” another executive said.
Beatrice Verhoeven, Linda Ge, Daniel Holloway and Thom Geier contributed to this report.
It has been one year since a devastating cyber attack left Sony Pictures licking its wounds and apologizing for an embarrassing trove of leaked emails that gave film fans around the world a taste of how the Hollywood sausage really gets made.
The movie world moves so fast. One year ago, Sony was developing “Sinister Six” and “Venom” spin-offs of the Spider-Man universe, while everyone was excited about a new “Steve Jobs” movie and felt that Jennifer Lawrence was well-compensated. My, how the times have changed.
No one values their privacy more than Hollywood movie studios and Sony’s home in Culver City didn’t just have its window curtains opened, it was practically leased by the producers of “Big Brother.” Nothing was secret anymore, and stars, filmmakers and executives finally learned what the rest of the industry was saying behind their backs.
Below are a handful of the people and projects who were caught in the crosshairs of the Sony attack. Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?
The little $44 million comedy that begat big problems for Sony, “The Interview” did receive a theatrical release, and there were no reports of any incidents at theaters that dared to show the movie. However, the film’s release was severely impacted by the hack (a worldwide gross of $11 million) and it ended up doing most of its business on VOD and iTunes. The climactic shot depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un also shed a few frames in the name of good taste, according to the leaked emails. In the end, was it worth it? Probably not, but the film struck a blow for good old-fashioned American values like the freedom to make fun of foreign dictators.
Once conceived as a David Fincher film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the Apple whiz, this project bore the brunt of the venom unleashed during the Sony hack. When DiCaprio didn’t work out, Christian Bale became Fincher’s first choice before the director bailed. Danny Boyle took over the project at Sony and Bale was in talks when he suddenly reversed course, leaving the studio scrambling to find a replacement.
At one point, Sorkin lobbied for Tom Cruise to don the black turtleneck, but when Boyle picked Michael Fassbender, the studio balked and Amy Pascal allowed producer Scott Rudin to take the project to Universal. The film has earned mixed-positive reviews, with Fassbender and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin singled out for their strong work, but that hasn’t made a difference at the box office.
Opening in limited release, “Steve Jobs” scored the year’s highest per-theater average but proved underwhelming upon going wide, taking in only $7.1 million in its first weekend in wide release. Unless “Steve Jobs” wins Oscars, which is looking increasingly unlikely, Sony may have dodged a bullet with this one. Oh, and did we mention that Pascal called Sorkin’s fee “insane” and said it was likely because he’s “broke” and “just wants to get paid.” Yeah, it was that kind of an exchange.
Sony scrapped its plans for “Sinister Six” and “Venom” spinoffs and that female-driven Spider-Man movie sure seems like a lot of lip service, as the studio has been focused on a straight-forward reboot with the participation of Marvel Studios.
Tom Rothman moved decisively, casting the young British actor Tom Holland (“The Impossible”) following a worldwide search, and hiring Jon Watts to direct on the heels of Sundance’s warm reception for his “Cop Car.” The new Spidey (and Marisa Tomei‘s Aunt May) will make his debut in Disney/Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” before swinging into a new live-action adventure in 2017. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are also developing an animated “Spider-Man” movie, though details remain slimmer than Gwen Stacy.
A few leaked emails about the profit participation pool involving the film’s cast don’t tell the whole story, but they did jump-start a conversation about equal pay in the industry. The public was incensed that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were making less than their male co-stars — 7 percent of the profit participation pool compared to 9 percent for Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and director David O. Russell. Of course, Lawrence didn’t work nearly as many days as her co-stars, but try explaining that to those outside of Hollywood.
The Sony hack also revealed that of the studio’s 17 U.S. employees earning $1 million or more, nearly all were white and only one was a woman. Perhaps some good may have come from the Sony hack after all, as Jennifer Lawrence is now being paid more than her red-hot “Passengers” co-star Chris Pratt.
Leaked emails suggest that Paul Feig wanted to cast Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Lizzy Caplan and Melissa McCarthy in a reboot of Ivan Reitman‘s beloved blockbuster comedy. In the end, Feig cast McCarthy alongside Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. Some plot points were revealed but Sony should still have plenty of surprises in store for audiences next summer.
The early draft of the script may have leaked, but the movie’s secrets haven’t. The latest James Bond adventure, which one leaked email suggested would cost more than $300 million, opens Nov. 6 and no one is talking about the hack or any plot points it may have revealed.
Looking to the future of the franchise, then-Sony chief Pascal told a former colleague she thought Idris Elba should be the next James Bond. The idea gained traction with some fans, but not Anthony Horowitz, author of one of the recent authorized Bond novel sequels. He opined that Elba was “too street” to play Bond, which he later apologized for. European bookmakers have Tom Hardy and Damian Lewis among the favorites to replace Daniel Craig, but 007 could be in for a radical reinvention in today’s increasingly diverse Hollywood.
This project remains in deep development. It played like a footnote below the larger “Steve Jobs” story, but the gist of it was this: Angelina Jolie wanted Fincher to direct an historical epic about the Egyptian ruler in spite of his reputation for being “difficult,” which Rudin called an understatement before comparing the director to Hitler. Or at least that’s how we remember it. But there hasn’t really been any movement on this, as Fincher spent much of the last year focusing on his HBO shows “Videosynchrazy” and “Utopia.”
Shots fired! Pascal basically trashed her own movie and its director, Cameron Crowe, in the leaked Sony emails, which couldn’t have helped the film’s box office performance. “Cameron never changed anything [about the script]. People don’t like people in movies who flirt with married people, or married people who flirt,” wrote Pascal.
Despite stars such as Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray, the film grossed only $26 million worldwide. Sometimes, audiences can smell a stinker — but in the case of “Aloha,” they didn’t even have to take a whiff, since the verdict was already in months before it hit theaters.
Leaked emails suggested that Sony rank-and-file executives had lost confidence in Adam Sandler‘s movies, which one employee called “mundane” and “formulaic.” This big-budget Sandler comedy failed to crack the $100 million mark in the U.S. and led to a spate of embarrassing articles questioning his star power, but the film grossed $237 million worldwide — not too shabby.
Sandler signed a four-picture deal with Netflix prior to the hack, but he’s still part of the Sony family — even if leaked emails revealed financial drama on the set of “Hotel Transylvania 2” and a $200 million pitch for “Candyland” as a Sandler vehicle.
The Sony hack also revealed an email in which Judd Apatow scolds Pascal for scheduling “Pixels” on the same date as his Amy Schumer comedy “Trainwreck,” which moved up a few weeks and did very well. “Why did you move your movie into my date? I never put my movies on Sandler’s dates. Never. He hadn’t either. We all respect each other. We don’t try to hurt each other,” wrote Apatow. Frankly, we don’t blame him for being angry, but the decision wasn’t personal for Pascal, just business.
The New York Times made front page news out of Sony’s football drama starring Will Smith, touting leaked emails show that director Peter Landesman, Sony executives and Smith’s reps discussed how to avoid antagonizing the NFL. “Will is not anti football (nor is the movie) and isn’t planning to be a spokesman for what football should be or shouldn’t be but rather is an actor taking on an exciting challenge. We’ll develop messaging with the help of N.F.L. consultant to ensure that we are telling a dramatic story and not kicking the hornet’s nest,” wrote Dwight Caines, Sony’s domestic marketing chief.
Landesman did make some creative decisions for legal reasons, including cutting a scene featuring Luke Wilson as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that was set behind closed doors (making it difficult for the filmmakers to know what really went on). But there is no evidence the NFL asked for any cuts, or that Landesman deliberately toned down the script to avoid giving offense. The leaked emails simply revealed a glimpse behind the creative process.
The Sony hack revealed that executives were kicking around the idea of a remake of Danny DeVito‘s 1986 comedy with Will Ferrell as a Donald Sterling-type NFL owner who is kidnapped a week before the Super Bowl. This is an idea that never became a real project, as far as we know.
The pilot script for Vince Gilligan‘s follow-up to “Breaking Bad” leaked as part of the hack, but guess what? No one cared. The pilot wasn’t very good and the show was canceled after only nine episodes.
It wasn’t just Sony movies that were affected. Studios became skittish about any movie set in or involving North Korea. As TheWrap first reported, New Regency put Gore Verbinski‘s Steve Carell political thriller “Pyongyang” on the back-burner as it waited for the situation to cool down. Wise move. Why antagonize a group of hackers who have never been caught?
“Fury” / “Annie” / “Mr. Turner” / “Still Alice” / “To Write Love on Her Arms”
These five films reportedly popped up on movie piracy sites following the Sony hack, but it’s unlikely that any of them were severely affected. This wasn’t like when “Wolverine” leaked online prior to its theatrical release.
“Fury” had already been in theaters for several weeks, though the Brad Pitt drama was downloaded more than 1 million times one day after the leaks. Still, how many of those people had already paid to see it?
Meanwhile, movie pirates don’t exactly rush to download art-house movies like the Sony Pictures Classics dramas “Mr. Turner” or “Still Alice.” If any movie suffered, it was probably Sony’s musical reboot “Annie,” but again, there’s not much evidence that the hack made a difference — though it provides a solid excuse for the film’s modest $86 million domestic gross.
A year after the crippling hack that brought Sony Pictures Entertainment to its knees, few if any lessons have been learned on how to prevent future attacks, security experts tell TheWrap.
While some studios have made some minor changes to their security systems, experts insist another attack on a Sony scale is not only possible, but highly probable.
“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” said Brent Rieth, who manages the Cyber Liability practice for the western region of risk management firm Aon. “At some point, there will be another studio that will be impacted by a cyber incident.”
While most corporations have taken some steps to mitigate the risk — like adding staff and conducting mock phishing attacks to test employee awareness — most have taken a lax approach… with one exception.
“Disney is pretty much the best,” said Ralph Echemendia, a security expert known as “The Ethical Hacker.”
Echemendia, who has worked as a security consultant for Sony in the past, said that unlike other studios, Disney not only focuses on its own network security, but requires any of its business partners to undergo rigorous system testing, or what is called “ethical hacks,” before they can do business with the studio.
“Most of the other studios don’t do that because of the cost involved,” he said, declining to specify the expense involved in such screening procedures.
Adam Levin, the author of “Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers and Identity Thieves,” told TheWrap that Disney’s Marvel has doubled down when it comes to data encryption as well as segmenting sensitive information to avoid easy access. It also ensures that information is secured with a two-step verification process. All of which, according to Levin, Sony did not do prior to the hack.
There are indications that Sony has taken steps to increase its security. Most legal documents now require password protection, with outside parties needing to place a phone call to the studio to learn the password, according to one senior Sony executive.
It’s hard to quantify just how much money studios have spent on upgrading their systems in the aftermath of the Sony hack. Studio execs are notoriously tight-lipped about their security operations.
Sony, Universal, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. either declined to comment on the record or did not respond to TheWrap’s request for an interview. Even Disney, which has been cited by many security experts as a good example of what studios can do to prevent further hacks, declined to comment.
But experts say whatever they’re spending, it’s not enough.
“Studios spend $200 million to $300 million on tentpole films but they are spending literally nothing on IP security,” Echemendia said. He estimates studios need to shell out upwards of $100 million to $150 million just to rebuild their infrastructure.
“What’s mind-blowing to me is that you would spend $300 million on a movie and not have anyone directly responsible for digital security,” he added. “And that’s still how things work.”
Even though Disney is ahead of the game, experts insist no studio is hitting it out of the park when it comes to cyber security. Echemendia told TheWrap he would give Walt Disney Pictures about a B+. Warner Bros. gets a B grade. Paramount, Fox, Universal and Sony all receive a C. (To be fair, experts say that Sony’s grade is an improvement on the F it would have received before the hack.)
“They still have a lot of work to do,”Echemendia said. “They are still rebuilding their infrastructure.”
Levin took it one step further, telling TheWrap every report he read suggested Sony “didn’t have much of anything.” In fact, things were so lax at Sony that employees kept at least 1,000 passwords on a Word document that was accessible to anyone.
“Sony literally was rolling the dice on information security,” said Levin. “The overwhelming percentage of people had 1234567-type passwords.”
Making matters worse, the Sony hack shouldn’t have come as any surprise to anyone at the company. Sony had been plagued by cyber-attacks for years prior to the 2014 breach. But no one seemed to sound the alarm.
Representatives for Sony have disputed the suggestion that the studio was ill-prepared before the hack; Joseph M. Demarest Jr., assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division, suggested last December that the malware deployed in the Sony hack would have slipped past 90 percent of private industry.
But experts say that Sony, like many others, was too focused on prevention rather than detection.
In fact, the Guardians of Peace, the hackers behind the Sony attack, broke into Sony’s systems months before actually launching the malware that caused so much damage. But no one at Sony seemed to notice.
Once hackers launched the actual attack, it took a mere 60 minutes to throw Sony Pictures back into the ’80s. Computers and email accounts were shut off as studio employees reverted back to Post-It notes, fax machines, hand-written paychecks and snail mail, according to one individual with knowledge of the situation.
By then, the hackers had managed to erase everything on 3,262 of the company’s 6,797 personal computers and 837 of its 1,555 servers, according to a report by Fortune. And to make sure it made a lasting impact, the attack came with an added bonus: a special code that essentially overwrote the data seven times over.
The 2014 Sony hack was a wake-up call that spread far beyond the studio grounds, shaking American corporations and immediately involving the FBI. The hackers demanded the cancellation of the film, “The Interview,” a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. In an effort to do damage control, Sony quickly pulled the movie, eventually releasing it on Netflix and select theaters. After evaluating the software, U.S. intelligence agencies determined North Korea was the source of the attack. Even President Barack Obama chimed in.
“We cannot have a society in which some dictator in some place can start imposing censorship on the United States,” Obama said, referring to the North Korean leader.
The Sony hack was no longer just about Sony; it became a center of international cyber warfare. The U.S. even imposed economic sanctions against several North Korean government officials in retaliation.
“Breaches truly have become the third certainty in life, along with death and taxes,” said Levin. “Cyber War has replaced the Cold War. It’s a worldwide issue.”
Since the attack, more high-profile hacks have followed. In July, Ashley Madison, a website promoting extra-marital affairs, was hacked, exposing 9.7 gigabytes of the company’s data, including many user profiles. Last month, CIA director John Brennan’s AOL email account was hacked, revealing sensitive information about top U.S. officials and their phone call logs. The hacker apparently gained access to Brennan’s account by masquerading as a Verizon employee and persuading workers at the company to give out Brennan’s information.
The hack into Brennan’s account is exactly why experts say companies need to make employee security training a top priority.
“Events such as the Sony hack have emphasized the human factors in the cyber security equation,” Mary Aiken, Cyber Psychologist and the inspiration behind Patricia Arquette‘s character in “CSI Cyber,” told TheWrap. “The weakest link in any secure system is the human factor.”
Levin says one of the most important things any company can do to tighten up its security is hire companies to run phishing drills on employees. According to Levin, the number of employees who fall for the mock phishing attack can reach up to 80 percent at first.
“The reality is, it only takes one wrong click, and you can bring down a company,” he said.
Until that happens, experts say that such another Sony-caliber hack is imminent.
Perhaps the one silver lining to come out of the Sony hack, experts say, is the fact that companies are more aware of the risks and potential liability and lawsuits.
“Sony is facing a lot of legal problems, “said Jim Lewis, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “There is damage to their bottom lines and some of their executives have had a really hard time. It’s not 100 percent … but more companies are taking this seriously.”
And even though not enough has been done to prevent future attacks, Lewis says at least one thing has definitely changed.
“I don’t think you’ll see too many studios making fun of the North Korean leader.”
There’s little question over what the legacy of the Sony hack will boil down to: ‘The Interview” and North Korea are likely to dilute in the narrative — but those leaked emails are forever.
Over 170,000 pieces of digital correspondence between SPE’s top executives like CEO Michael Lynton and former Motion Picture Group chairman Amy Pascal, industry players like Scott Rudin and stars like Rooney Mara have been archived on Wikileaks — an indexed, searchable monument to a major corporate embarrassment.
Here the TheWrap compiles some of the most scathing, hilarious, terse and ridiculous highlights from Sony inboxes, what will undoubtedly be regarded as a vivid portrait of living and working in Hollywood in 2014.
1. Scott Rudin rips into Angelina Jolie
In December, leaks revealed producer Scott Rudin having harsh words about Angelina Jolie, and uncovered his distaste for the actress-turned-director. “Kill me please. Immediately,” he said in an e-mail to Pascal in June 2014 when he learned she was studying films of potential directors for a “Cleopatra” film in development.
In another email, also about “Cleopatra,” Rudin said, “I’m not destroying my career over a minimally talented spoiled brat who thought nothing of shoving this off her plate for eighteen months so she could go direct a movie. I have no desire to be making a movie with her, or anybody, that she runs and that we don’t. She’s a camp event and a celebrity and that’s all and the last thing anybody needs is to make a giant bomb with her that any fool could see coming.”
2. Rooney Mara asks Amy Pascal about “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” sequel
Even Rooney Mara is tired of Sony’s maybe, maybe-not stance about sequels to its “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” adaptations. “Logic tells me they are not ever happening- as it’s been almost 3 years since it came out,” she acknowledges in an email to Pascal in October 2014. “But I had still been holding out a little bit of hope.”
3. David Fincher thought Sony had a leak problem
In an e-mail with the subject line “Well it ain’t ME,” the man who almost directed “Steve Jobs” blamed Sony for the many leaks on the negotiations for that film. In comparison, his work on the Warner Bros. thriller “Gone Girl” seemed to proceed with considerably more discretion. “I had 15 meetings with Rosamund Pike and her DEAL CLOSED before Variety OR The Reporter ever ran a single blurb,” he said. “This is a CONTINUAL PROBLEM WITH SONY.”
4. Pascal’s $66,000 two-day trip to Washington, D.C.
In October 2014, former co-chairman Pascal jetted to Washington for the premiere of David Ayer‘s “Fury,” starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf. The-two day excursion totaled out $66,350 for car services, air travel and a suite at the swanky St. Regis hotel.
5. Kevin Hart was called a “whore” by Clint Culpepper
Documents obtained by Defamer revealed a March 2014 thread between Sony executives Amy Pascal, Michael Lynton and Screen Gems President Clint Culpepper. The three complain about an upcoming Hart movie, specifically that Hart’s team requested more money to utilize his 14.4 million followers on Twitter and other social platforms to promote the film.
While Hart’s team said he would happily do the normal publicity rounds like junkets and photo calls, the emails hinted that he wanted additional compensation to pitch the movie on social media. “I’m not saying he’s a whore, but he’s a whore,” Culpepper wrote.
After the leak, Hart wrote a lengthy response on Instagram.
“Knowing your self worth is extremely important people … I worked very hard to get where I am today. I look at myself as a brand and because of that I will never allow myself to be taking advantage [sic] of. I own my brand … I make smart decisions for my brand … I protect my brand … which is why I’m able to brush ignorance off of my shoulder and continue to move forward. I refuse to be broken people…with that being said its now time for me to get back to building this empire that I’ve always dreamed of.”
6. Pascal calls Leonardo DiCaprio “despicable”
“The latter,” replied Pascal.
“Horrible behavior,” said Gordon.
Pascal agreed, calling it “Actually despicable.”
7. Mark Cuban was upset about his “Shark Tank” salary of $30,000 per episode
Shark Mark Cuban was not happy with the $30,000 he was getting for every episode of “Shark Tank,” a show distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Therefore, the Dallas Mavericks owner sent an email to Sony Pictures TV president Steve Mosko and others with the following:
no chance… this is beyond an insult and it shows no one cares about the investments I have made or the entrepreneurs
now it’s really business..
I will negotiate like any other deal I would do
you may want to start cutting me out of the promos
Long before Sorkin and Fassbender were to work on “Steve Jobs” together, the writer had no idea who the actor was, and wasn’t having it when Pascal informed him of the studio’s desire to cast him in the lead role of “Steve Jobs.”
“I don’t know who Michael Fassbender is and the rest of the world isn’t going to care,” Sorkin wrote.
Producer Michael De Luca, however, seemed to be a fan of the Irish-German actor — perhaps because of his attention-grabbing frontal-nude scenes in “Shame.” In one email, De Luca wrote, “He just makes you feel bad to have normal-sized genitalia.”
When DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg was set to host a breakfast that President Barack Obama was going to attend, Pascal wrote Rudin, “What should I ask the president at this stupid Jeffrey breakfast?”
“Would he like to finance some movies,” Rudin responded.
Pascal replied, “I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?” Rudin responded: “12 YEARS.” Pascal mentioned more movies cast with African-Americans: “Or the butler. Or think like a man? [sic]”
Rudin’s response: “Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart.”
10. Cameron Crowe joked about Bruce Jenner’s transition
In an October 2014 exchange about his upcoming movie “Aloha,” Crowe mentioned Jenner’s gender transition to then-Sony Pictures chairwoman Amy Pascal.
“Did you have something to show me this week?” Pascal asked the director.
“Does Bruce Jenner want boobs? Hell yes I have something to show you!!!!” responded the director of “Almost Famous.”
Last November, Sony Motion Pictures Group PresidentDoug Belgrad sent Tom Rothman, then heading up the TriStar division, a link to a New York Times article about Willow and Jaden Smith, the celebrity offspring of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, which was then forwarded to Amy Pascal. Rothman wrote, “1. Read this,” and “2. they r home schooled: don’t let this family date your movies!!!”
In another set of emails in which
She wrote, “Do we know who on the list is actually available to begin prep in next few months? I do think [Tomas] alfredson is great. I also think we could have another talk with Fincher who may be difficult but is brilliant and already engaged. Xxx”
“‘May be difficult’?!?! ” Rudin responddd. “Like Hitler ‘may be anti-Semitic’!!! I think a lot of these guys are free around our time-frame — who do you like?”
“People don’t like people in movies who flirt with married people or married people who flirt,” she wrote. “The satellite makes no sense. The gate makes no sense. I’m never starting a movie again when the script is ridiculous. And we all know it.”
The film went on to gross an embarrassing $26 million worldwide.
Pascal took to writing an enraged email to Belgrad, De Luca and Hannah Minghella, the co-presidents of production at Columbia Pictures.
“We are getting totally positioned in the Aaron stuff,” Pascal wrote. “He is broke. He wants to get paid. We paid him his insane fee on flashboys. When the poker movie came around we didn’t want to not be in Aaron business so we wanted that too. after social network jobs and flashboys Aaron and mark took the project to the town on the ‘pretense’ that we don’t have the money. They went to every single studio…I don’t care if Aaron is sleeping with the girl or not. I don’t care if it becomes a best seller. They are treating us like s–t.”
A Federal Judge has approved the terms of a class action lawsuit Sony Pictures Entertainment employees brought on the company, as the result of personal data leaked in the studio’s devastating hack.
Terms say that Sony will provide up to $4.5 million in compensation, including $2 million for unreimbursed expenses and up to $2.5 million for losses from identity theft.
For reimbursing plaintiffs who spent money on paying for preventative measures against identity theft, Sony will provide up to $2 million, with $1,000 being the max for each individual. Roughly 430,000 current and former part-time and full-time employees will be eligible for the settlement.
The settlement also deemed that Sony will continue to provide identity theft protection for the individuals who are part of the class action lawsuit, free of charge, through 2017.
Judge R. Gary Klausner will issue final approval at a hearing set for March 16, 2016. Attorneys in the case walked away with a healthy $3.49 million in fees, costs and expenses.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
Exactly one year after the infamous Sony hack, former Sony VP, Global Commercial Planning and Innovation Amy Heller has sued the studio and other defendants for defamation, negligence and invasion of privacy.
In the complaint, Heller is seeking multiple damages and unspecified compensation for loss of income, as well as claiming that Sony’s lack of secure systems caused her emotional distress.
Heller, who was laid off in the spring of 2014, says the studio acted in a “deliberate, cold, callous, fraudulent, and intentional manner in order to injure and damage” her.
According to the suit, Sony knew of the hack before it happened but “failed to maintain reasonable and adequate security measures to safeguard its data, including sensitive personnel” information.
Because of this, a “false and defamatory ‘mouse’ theft accusation” was made public. In or about March 17, 2014, Heller was laid-off along with numerous Sony employees. According to her, she did not have time to remove her personal belongings, including her artwork, from her office. Three months after Heller vacated her office, Sony Information Technology claimed that a computer mouse, valued at $90, was missing from her office. It was classified as “Property Crimes — Civil,” which “falsely and maliciously attributed the alleged theft of the mouse to Ms. Heller — listing her as the ‘The Suspect.'”
Heller alleges she was never asked about the missing mouse, although she was in communication with the Sony Human Resources Department through May 2015.
Moreover, the report also states Heller was “terminated,” when Heller claims she was simply laid off as “part of a general reduction-in-force,” therefore, Sony “negligently, recklessly and intentionally cause false publications of and concerning the plaintiff.”
During the search to find new employment, the “mouse” report was released on WikiLeaks, damaging “Ms. Heller’s reputation, and has been a substantial factor in preventing her from obtaining other employment,” stated the suit.
“In spite of her excellent qualifications, Ms. Heller has not been able to secure work at even well-below her prior executive level position,” the 22-page complaint claimed. “Prospective employers know and see from Ms. Heller’s resume that she previously worked at Sony and, naturally, they inquire into or otherwise search to see if she was affected by the ‘Sony hack.’ And they naturally will not hire someone who was accused of theft from her last position.”
Heller is also suing the defendants for negligence, claiming “plaintiff was a foreseeable and probably victim of inadequate security practices. Sony knew or should have known that its network was inadequately safeguarded, particularly in light of multiple prior breaches.”
She says all of the above-mentioned claims were “made with knowledge of their falsity or with reckless disregard for their truth.”
The plaintiff seeks general and special damages, punitive and exemplary damages in an amount to punish Defendants, declaratory and/or or injunctive relief, costs of suit incurred herein and for pre-judgement interest.
David deRubertis and Alyssa Schabloski of The deRubertis Law Firm are representing Heller.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
The malware used in February’s $81 million heist at a Bangladesh Bank is linked to the 2014 Sony hack, according to a new report from cyber security firm BAE Systems.
“What initially looked to be an isolated incident at one Asian bank turned out to be part of a wider campaign,” the press release states, according to Reuters.
While BAE is not one of the security firms Bangladesh Bank hired to help after the heist, the security firm found malware by searching through archives that collect samples of malicious files.
The same malware was used in other cyber attacks as well, according to BAE, including an attack on a Vietnamese commercial bank, presumably making fraudulent transfer requests. A distinctive computer code was used to erase the tracks of hackers in the cyber attacks on the banks as well as on Sony.
The report claimed that the malware used to target the Bangladesh Bank had “the same unique characters” as software used in “Operation Blockbuster,” which was a campaign that dates back to at least 2009 and includes the Sony breach.
Similarities include encryption keys and names of programming elements, according to the report.
In November 2014, a hacker group going by the name of “Guardians of Peace” hacked into the network of Sony Pictures of Entertainment and released confidential data, including personal information about employees, emails between employees, information about executive salaries and copies of then-unreleased Sony films.
The hackers demanded the cancellation of the film, “The Interview,” a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. In an effort to do damage control, Sony quickly pulled the movie, eventually releasing it on Netflix and select theaters. After evaluating the software, U.S. intelligence agencies determined North Korea was the source of the attack.
And in February, hackers issued five successful transactions via the SWIFT network totaling $101 million, withdrawn from a Bangladesh Back account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. However, $20 million of thatwas traced to Sri Lanka and has since been recovered. The heist sought to steal $951 million, but the New York bank blocked the remaining transactions amounting to an estimated $850 million.
Adrian Nish, BAE’s head of threat intelligence, told Reuters that the company had not determined who was behind the attacks. BAE also said that their report might be hit with scrutiny given that the White House has pinned the Sony attacks on North Korea.
70 million Target customers had their credit card information, home addresses, and other identifying information stolen by hackers. While most people have had to call and cancel a credit card at some point in their lives, the scale of this breach at such a large corporation was surprising. And yet, it still wasn’t the biggest breach of credit card data. That honor belongs to…
Heartland Payment Systems, 2009
130 million credits cards were compromised in a 2008 security breach of the payment processing juggernaut. The data stolen was that of the information contained by the cards’ magnetic stripe, making it easy for counterfeiters to create new credit cards with that information. An American hacker was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his part in the operation.
JP Morgan, 2014
83 million accounts were compromised in the summer of 2014 thanks to a neglected server. That includes 76 million household accounts and 7 million small businesses.
78.8 million users covered by Anthem insurance had their information accessed by a hacker. This was a biggie in terms of freaking out a large swath of the United States: Anthem is the second-largest provider of health insurance in the country. The information consisted of names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and other unspecified information. The company said no medical or financial information was accessed.
iCloud Celebrity Nude Photo Hack, 2014
Stealing the answers to people’s security questions pales in comparison to what a large number of female celebrities had to deal with in 2014, when hackers accessed their iCloud accounts and posted the nude photos they found on 4Chan, the Internet’s sub-basement. Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Amber Heard and others were among the victims.
Sony has had two big breaches, using different definitions of the word “big.” The first was in 2011, when 100 million Sony Online Entertainment, Qriocity and PlayStation accounts were accessed, giving hackers e-mail addresses, names, addresses, and credit card information, though Sony said at the time the credit card info was from 2007. The second, the apocalyptic cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The DNC Leaks, 2016
A hacker going by the name of “Guccifer 2.0” gained access to the Democratic National Committee’s servers and leaked 100,000 documents and 20,000 e-mails to WikiLeaks and the press, revealing infighting and a supposed strategy to derail Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. As a result, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigns, and Sanders supporters begin high-profile protests.
70 million Target customers had their credit card information, home addresses, and other identifying information stolen by hackers. And yet, it still wasn't the biggest breach of credit card data. That honor belongs to...Heartland Payment Systems, 2009
130 million credits cards were compromised in a 2008 security breach of the payment processing juggernaut. The data stolen was that of the information contained by the cards' magnetic stripe.Sony, 2011
Sony has had two big breaches, using different definitions of the word "big." The first was in 2011, when 100 million Sony Online Entertainment, Qriocity and PlayStation accounts were accessed, giving hackers e-mail addresses, names, addresses, and credit card information, though Sony said at the time the credit card info was from 2007.Sony, 2014
The other was the apocalyptic cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment from a group called "Guardians of Peace" that breached employees' personal records and e-mail accounts. The subsequent leak of the e-mails to WikiLeaks led to the studio's co-chair, Amy Pascal, leaving.iCloud Celebrity Nude Photo Hack, 2014
Stealing the answers to people's security questions pales in comparison to what a large number of female celebrities had to deal with in 2014, when hackers accessed their iCloud accounts and posted the nude photos they found on 4Chan, the Internet's sub-basement. Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Amber Heard and others were among the victims.The DNC Leaks, 2016
A hacker going by the name of "Guccifer 2.0" gained access to the Democratic National Committee's servers and leaked 100,000 documents and 20,000 e-mails to WikiLeaks and the press. As a result, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned.Anthem, 2015
78.8 million users covered by Anthem insurance had their information accessed by a hacker. Anthem is the second-largest provider of health insurance in the country. The information consisted of names, birth dates, Social Security numbers. The company said no medical or financial information was accessed.JP Morgan, 2014
83 million accounts were compromised in the summer of 2014 thanks to a neglected server. That includes 76 million household accounts and 7 million small businesses.Leslie Jones
Jones is just one person, but the recent hacker, inspired by professional troll Milo Yiannopoulos, that vandalized her Web page was one of the more notable examples of cyber crime.
Two years after the devastating Christmastime hack of its movie studio, the Sony corporation had a significantly smaller breach — on its Twitter account, which falsely reported pop star Britney Spears was dead.
The erroneous claim about the singer sent her fans and social media spiraling on Monday morning.
“RIP @britneyspears #RIPBritney 1981-2016,” a tweet from Sony Music Global’s account read. Shortly after, a Twitter account belonging to the estate of Bob Dylan shared its condolences.
Both accounts were hacked by online group OurMine, according to Billboard, which obtained screen grabs of the tweets deleted by Sony Music roughly two hours after they were posted.
Representatives for Spears confirmed the mother of two is alive and well, CNN’s AnneClaire Stapleton said.
A Sony Music spokesperson was not immediately reachable for comment. Spears is signed to Sony, a longtime flagship artist of its now-disbanded label Jive Records.
OurMine has take credit for numerous high-profile hacks of late, including Marvel Studios, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, his sister, Randi, Spotify founder Daniel Ek, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, and actor-producer Channing Tatum.
“We are not blackhat hackers, we are just a security group…we are just trying to tell people that nobody is safe,” an anonymous member of the group told Wired magazine in a June profile.
News of a massive cyberbreach at Sony Pictures broke in late November with later reports indicating that executives had been warned of the impending attack weeks earlier.
See TheWrap’s blow-by-blow on the Sony hack attack.
As Sony CEO Michael Lynton announces his resignation, let's look back at one of the darkest periods of his tenure: the Sony hack. News of a massive cyberbreach at Sony Pictures began leaking out in late November. Later reports indicated the studio had been warned weeks earlier.NOV. 24: The hacker group identified as #GOP purportedly took over computers and hijacked Twitter accounts, sending out ominous messages to Sony staff. Read more.NOV. 25: Sony Pictures employees greeted with an ominous image on their computer screens when they tried to log in for the work week. Read more.NOV. 28: Sony struggles to fight #GOP hackers who claim stolen data includes stars’ IDs, budget and contract figures. Read more.NOV. 30: Investigators know North Korea is unhappy with comedy "The Interview," which makes light of an attempt to assassinate its leader Kim Jong-un. Read more.DEC. 1: Studio has made progress in restoring critical business systems, insider says at the time. Later reports dispute this. Read more.DEC. 1: Hack analysis: How much will this ‘nightmare’ cost? Damage to Sony’s reputation will be key in determining the cybercrime’s toll. Read more.DEC. 1: Blogger posts a spreadsheet of the top 17 executives earning $1 million or more. Read more.DEC. 1: North Korea denies involvement. A government official previously teased “wait and see.” Read more. DEC. 2: Sony bosses Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal address "malicious criminal acts" in a company-wide memo to staff. Read more.DEC. 2: Media outlets obtain spreadsheets including social security numbers and detailed performance reviews for 3,000 Sony Pictures employees. Read more.DEC. 2: When asked if North Korea was involved, a spokesman for the communist country’s government replied, “Wait and see.” Read now.DEC. 3: Salaries of ‘The Interview’ stars Seth Rogen and James Franco revealed in Sony hacking leak. Read more.DEC. 4: Hollywood studios ramp up security in wake of Sony hack. Read more.DEC. 4: Cybersecurity expert reveals how massive breach might have happened. Read more.DEC. 4: North Korea reportedly denies involvement in Sony hack attack. Read more.DEC. 4: Sylvester Stallone, Judd Apatow are among 47,000 employees compromised in latest leak. Read more.DEC. 5: Studio employees receive threatening email that says "Your family will be in danger" and are advised to turn off their handheld devices. Read more.DEC. 6: Sony Hack Attack "unparalleled," says head of cybersecurity firm. Read more.DEC. 7: Sony hackers reportedly worked from Thailand and may have North Korean ties. Internet leaks of confidential data traced to a five-star Bangkok hotel. Read more.DEC. 8: Sony hackers demand ‘The Interview’ pulled: "Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism." Read more. DEC. 8: FBI plan to hold employee cybersecurity awareness briefings on the Sony studio lot. Read more.DEC. 8: Hackers sent top Sony execs a threatening email days before the attack. Read more.DEC. 8: Hack exposes celebrity aliases for Tom Hanks, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and more in latest leak. Read more.DEC. 8: Hackers leak sensitive email of Sony execs Amy Pascal and Steven Mosko. Read more. DEC. 9: Hackers reveal animated ‘Spider-Man’ comedy in the works. Read more.DEC. 9: Heated emails between Sony Chief Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin leaked. Read more.DEC. 10: FBI says attack so sophisticated that it would have gotten past "90 percent" of security firms. Read more. DEC. 11: Sony hack attack theory suggests North Korea was involved but had insider help. Read more. DEC. 11: Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin apologize for racially insensitive remarks about President Obama. Read more. DEC. 11: Kevin Hart responds to leaked Sony emails calling him a ‘whore.’ Read more.DEC. 11: Hackers flash disturbing new warning on staffers’ computers. Read more. DEC. 11: Amy Pascal talks to Sharon Waxman about whether she's so damaged she can no longer lead Sony (exclusive). Read more.DEC. 11: Sony had evidence of server breach as early as February. Read more.DEC. 12: Sony orders its name removed from "The Interview" marketing materials. Read more.DEC. 12: Sony arm Crackle pulls hacker movie "The Throwaways." Read more.DEC. 13: Hackers threaten "Christmas gift" of more data. Read more. DEC. 14: Sony demands media stop publishing stolen data. Read more.DEC. 14: Producers reveal hackers stole James Bond "Spectre" script. Read more. DEC. 15: Lawyer's letter confirms "The Interview" was the cause of hack attack. Read more.DEC. 16: Sony hackers threaten 9/11-style attack on theaters that show "The Interview." Read more.DEC. 16: James Franco and Seth Rogen withdraw from press interviews for "The Interview." Read more.DEC. 16: Sony tells theaters they can pull "The Interview." Read more.DEC. 16: Carmike theater chain drops "The Interview" after hacker terror threat. Read more.DEC. 16: ArcLight Cinemas drops "The Interview" amid hacker threats. Read more.DEC. 16: Sony CEO Michael Lynton's emails leaked. Read more. DEC. 16: Former Sony employees file class-action suit against studio. Read more.DEC. 16: Landmark Theaters cancels "Interview" New York premiere. Read more. DEC. 17: Bow Tie Cinemas drops "The Interview." Read more.DEC. 17: Judd Apatow says, "I am going to 'The Interview.'" Read more. DEC. 17: Rosie O'Donnell says she will not see "The Interview." Read more.DEC. 17: Five major theater chains pull "The Interview." Read more.DEC. 17: Sony Pictures cancels release of "The Interview." Read more.DEC. 17: Hollywood outraged at decision to pull "The Interview." Read more. DEC. 17: Per CNN, US Government to announce North Korea was behind Sony hack. Read more.DEC. 17: What are U.S. options if North Korea is confirmed as cyberterrorist? Read more.DEC. 17: Steve Carell’s North Korea movie "Pyongyang" canceled in wake of Sony hack. Read more.DEC. 17: Rob Lowe, Judd Apatow, Michael Moore and others express their outrage on social media. Read more.DEC. 18: Paramount thwarts plans by theaters to replace ‘The Interview’ with "Team America: World Police" Read more.DEC. 18: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rep. Peter King and Colin Powell weigh in on the cancelation of "The Interview. Read more.DEC. 19: FBI officially implicates North Korea in Sony hack Attack. Read more.DEC. 19: New Sony leak reveals 50 scripts from Michael Lynton’s inbox. Read more.DEC. 19: Sony's former IT employees claim studio failed to adequately prepare for “Interview”-related hacks, file class-action lawsuit. Read more.DEC. 20: North Korea denies involvement in hack attack, warns U.S and offers to join joint probe. Read more.DEC. 20: Sony deletes "The Interview’s" social media profiles in wake of hack, movie’s cancellation. Read more.DEC. 20: Mike Myers returns to Saturday Night Live, reprising his Dr. Evil role from “Austin Powers” to deliver some advice regarding the hack. See more.DEC. 20: RNC chair Reince Priebus sends a letter urging the CEOs of 10 major theater chains to screen “The Interview.” Read more.DEC. 21: President Obama insists on CNN that the Sony hack is "cyber vandalism," not "act of war." Watch more.Dec. 21: Sony attorney says "The Interview" will be distributed despite hackers’ threats. Watch more.DEC. 22: Security experts register doubts about North Korean involvement in hack. Read more.DEC. 22: Sony threatens Twitter with lawsuit if additional "stolen information" appears on the service. Read more.
Since the high-profile hack of Sony Pictures in 2014, cybersecurity has become one of Hollywood’s top concerns. But that doesn’t mean Sony was the last company to fall victim to an attack.
The biggest and most consequential hack to hit Hollywood was the Sony Pictures hack of 2014. Spurred by the studio’s then-upcoming comedy “The Interview,” about a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-Un, North Korean hackers were able to access employee information, emails, unreleased projects and other damaging information.
Netflix fell victim to a hack in 2017 when a group called “The Dark Overlord” stole episodes of “Orange Is the New Black” from a post-production house. When the streamer failed to meet ransom demands, the group released 10 episodes of the series weeks ahead of the scheduled premiere.
After The Dark Overlord successfully released “Orange Is the New Black,” the group took to Twitter promising to target other companies next. The group named ABC its next target in a vague tweet, but did not specify which show or shows it was threatening to release.
When The Dark Overlord took “Orange Is the New Black” from Larson Studios, it also reportedly made off with other unaired shows, including “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Portlandia.” ABC, NBC, FX, National Geographic, E!, Disney Channel and Lifetime were also contacted by the FBI, who was investigating the incident, to notify them that their work may have been compromised.
Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed in a company town hall meeting that the film studio had received a ransom demand from a hacker who claimed to have stolen one of their unreleased films. Reports said the pirated film was “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” though it was never released. Iger later said in an interview that he believed it to be a hoax.
UTA suffered a “malware incident” in April, in which hackers held the company’s computer systems hostage, demanding payment in bitcoin. Meetings were canceled and pushed, with the talent agency effectively shut down as the company raced to respond. Outside investigators concluded that no sensitive information was compromised.
The Sundance Film Festival also suffered a cyberattack in 2017. The box office was forced to go offline for roughly 40 minutes as the festival responded to the situation, but no screenings were affected by the outage. “Our artist’s voices will be heard and the show will go on,” the festival said in a statement.
Since the high-profile hack of Sony Pictures in 2014, cybersecurity has become one of Hollywood's top concerns. But that doesn't mean Sony was the last company to fall victim to an attack.The biggest and most consequential hack to hit Hollywood was the Sony Pictures hack of 2014. Spurred by the studio's then-upcoming comedy "The Interview," about a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-Un, North Korean hackers were able to access employee information, emails, unreleased projects and other damaging information.Netflix fell victim to a hack in 2017 when a group called "The Dark Overlord" stole episodes of "Orange Is the New Black" from a post-production house. When the streamer failed to meet ransom demands, the group released 10 episodes of the series weeks ahead of the scheduled premiere.After The Dark Overlord successfully released "Orange Is the New Black," the group took to Twitter promising to target other companies next. The group named ABC its next target in a vague tweet, but did not specify which show or shows it was threatening to release.When The Dark Overlord took "Orange Is the New Black" from Larson Studios, it also reportedly made off with other unaired shows, including "NCIS: Los Angeles" and "Portlandia." ABC, NBC, FX, National Geographic, E!, Disney Channel and Lifetime were also contacted by the FBI, who was investigating the incident, to notify them that their work may have been compromised.Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed in a company town hall meeting that the film studio had received a ransom demand from a hacker who claimed to have stolen one of their unreleased films. Reports said the pirated film was "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," though it was never released. Iger later said in an interview that he believed it to be a hoax.UTA suffered a "malware incident" in April, in which hackers held the company's computer systems hostage, demanding payment in bitcoin. Meetings were canceled and pushed, with the talent agency effectively shut down as the company raced to respond. Outside investigators concluded that no sensitive information was compromised.The Sundance Film Festival also suffered a cyberattack in 2017. The box office was forced to go offline for roughly 40 minutes as the festival responded to the situation, but no screenings were affected by the outage. "Our artist's voices will be heard and the show will go on," the festival said in a statement.