Sony Pictures tries to regroup as fraud concerns emerge

CEO Michael Lynton

CEO Michael Lynton (Image: Sony)

It’s taken Sony Pictures exactly three weeks to gather up the courage to tackle the recent cataclysmic hacking events head-on, but in the end, CEO Michael Lynton couldn’t have picked a better time for addressing his employees and, indirectly, the media.

Lynton huddled the crowds in Culver City and emphatically stressed “our business has a strong economic foundation” and so “this won’t take us down.” Mind you, these bold, reassuring comments come just 24 hours after the seventh classified file dump by mysterious group Guardians of Peace, and their most ominous message yet.

The cyber-criminals, suspected but not proven to have North Korean ties, warned an eighth leak, aka gift, is in the works for Christmas with a potentially devastating effect on the entertainment giant, which could be brought “into the worst state.”

Clearly, the Christmas deadline is far from random, as the mischief-makers hope Sony will cancel the release of “The Interview” in the eleventh hour. The comedy lampoons North Korea’s dictator, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen as Kim Jong-un hitmen.

But there’s no sign of Sony’s shot callers cracking, and Lynton seems to suggest the worst may actually be behind the movie production and distribution company. Could he know the hackers have nothing else on Sony, or is he merely putting on a brave face for show?

Maybe he’s convinced the wrongdoers will be brought to justice soon enough, as his vague statements about the ongoing investigation subject alluded to it “being handled by the highest ranks of the FBI on a global level.”

Either way, the embarrassment of already revealed private conversations between executives that will linger, with Co-Chairman Amy Pascal the victim of the most shaming leaks. Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith and President Barack Obama are among those who Pascal mocked and outright insulted when she thought no one was listening, and her apologies can’t quite wipe the slate clean.

In semi-related news, current and former Sony Pictures employees have been warned of possible frauds coming as a result of their very detailed personal information leaking out. Social security numbers, credit card details and bank account info could be used for various scams, and although no incident of this nature has been reported yet, it’s best to be prepared.

Perhaps Sony Pictures will survive these attacks. But it doesn’t sound like business will be the same anytime soon.