Sony Pictures Entertainment has been hit with a class action lawsuit by two former employees who accuse the company of failing to protect confidential employee information. The suit, filed in a Los Angeles court on Monday, alleges that the Hollywood movie studio had not secured its computer network to protect it against hackers, according to Reuters.
Both plaintiffs have alleged that Sony knew about the vulnerability of its security system but made a “business decision to accept the risk” of a possible hack rather than investing more money into security improvements, according to a copy of the suit published by Variety. The former employees had their social security numbers and other private information made public after hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace published a trove of studio documents online, including private email correspondences and salary charts.
Sony sent a memo to its employees warning them that fraudsters could be targeting them, according to a report published by Reuters on Tuesday. The memo, which was sent to staff Dec. 2, acknowledged that a large number of documents had been stolen by the hackers, though it did not confirm the nature of the specific documents in question. The company said Monday that it would begin providing identity theft protection services to its employees.
The suit comes as a new round of data leaks emerged from the hackers, who released what they called a “Christmas gift” of documents Tuesday, accompanied by a menacing warning to moviegoers to avoid the new Seth Rogen film “The Interview.” The comedy, which follows a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is at the center of the controversy around the hack, which some speculation has been attributed to North Korea, according to CNET. The hackers demanded that Sony pull the plug on the film, which will be released Dec. 25.