Sony Hit With Another Lawsuit Over Cyber-Attack

Another ex-employee has filed a class action suit against Sony Pictures Entertainment, claiming that the studio was negligent in protecting personal information from the Nov. 24 hacking attack.

At least seven class action suits have been filed against the studio, raising the prospect that they will be consolidated before a single federal judge.

Anastasio Garcia Rodriguez, a former software engineer for SPE, contends that his Social Security number, immigration information and visa, and passport information were posted on the Internet after the security breach.

He is seeking unspecified damages.

“Sony’s recent history with negative audits and data breaches underscore that Sony knew or should have known that its security protections and protocol for sensitive information were woefully inadequate,” he states in his lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The lawsuit cites, among other things, a 2007 article in CIO Magazine revealing that SPE’s then-executive director of information security, Jason Spaltro, “had been told by an external auditor that Sony had insufficiently strong access controls and that passwords used by Sony employees did not meet best practice standards.”

In an interview with the magazine, Spaltro said that companies do cost-benefit analyses in determining how to protect data. He offered a hypothetical example, in which the cost of notifying customers of a breach was $1 million but better securing a system to protect a breach would cost $10 million. “I will not invest $10 million to avoid a possible $1 million loss,” he told the magazine. (Not mentioned in the class action complaint was that Spaltro also said in the same interview that the studio took “protection of personal information very seriously and invests heavily in controls to prevent it.”)

A spokeswoman for SPE said they had no comment.

Rodriguez is represented in the lawsuit by Steven Tindall and Valerie Brender of Rukin Hyland Doria & Tyndall. SPE has retained the law firm of Wilmer Hale to defend it in the suit, but it has not yet provided a formal answer to any of the suits. The studio’s CEO, Michael Lynton, has described the attack as unprecedented for an American corporation.


Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein to Be Arraigned on New Indictment

    Harvey Weinstein is set to appear in court on Monday for an arraignment on a new indictment, the Manhattan D.A.’s office said Thursday. Prosecutors announced last week that they would seek a fresh indictment, which would allow actress Annabella Sciorra to testify at Weinstein’s trial. The move came after Justice James Burke ruled on Aug. [...]

  • AI Technology David Beckham

    How AI Tech Is Changing Dubbing, Making Stars Like David Beckham Multilingual

    David Beckham does not speak Arabic, Hindi or Mandarin. But when the soccer legend starred in a PSA for malaria awareness this spring, he effortlessly switched among these and six other languages, thanks to cutting-edge technology that could soon change how Hollywood localizes its movies and TV shows. The PSA in question was produced with technology [...]

  • Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Copyright

    Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Massive Copyright Infringement

    Eminem’s publishing company Eight Mile Style filed a major copyright infringement lawsuit against Spotify late Thursday, claiming that the streaming giant has no license to host about 250 of Eminem’s songs, while also taking aim at the Music Modernization Act, the federal law enacted last year to improve royalty payments for songwriters. The news was [...]

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansion

    Chinese streaming firm iQIYI is in negotiations to expand further into Southeast Asia through a venture with Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra. iQIYI announced its first step outside Chinese-majority territories in June, when it revealed a linkup in Malaysia with pay-TV leader Astro. It also operates in Taiwan. In April, the company said that it planned [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify Triples Free-Trial Period on Premium Service

    Spotify today extended the free-trial period for its Premium service from one month to three, tripling the amount of time listeners can take full advantage of the streaming giant’s offerings without paying for them. According to the announcement, the offer is “always-on/not limited time,” and will roll out across Spotify Premium plans globally: Individual and [...]

  • The Ringer Promotes Sean Fennessey, Mallory

    The Ringer Promotes Sean Fennessey, Mallory Rubin to Top Editorial Roles

    Mallory Rubin and Sean Fennessey have been promoted to top editorial posts at The Ringer, the pop culture and sports website and podcast network. Fennessey has been named chief content officer and Rubin has been named editor in chief. Both editors have been with The Ringer since it launched in 2016. Fennessey previously served as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content