Sony reaches settlement over 2014 security breach

Sony reaches settlement over 2014 security breach

Laguna Beach (United States) (AFP) - Sony has reached a settlement in a US court to pay $8 million to employees affected by a massive cyberattack, officials said Tuesday.

The settlement deal struck this week calls for payments of up to $10,000 to employees whose personal data was stolen.

Sony will also pay for data protection and legal costs for the employees under the deal, which must be approved by a judge.

"The agreement, which still requires preliminary and final court approval, was mutually agreed upon with the plaintiffs and is an important, positive step forward in putting the cyber-attack firmly behind us," CEO Michael Lynton said in an internal memo.

The massive cyberattack against Sony Pictures, which sparked an international furor had minimal impact on the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant, another top executive said.

"I think that there was not that much impact from a business perspective," Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai said at the WSJD Live technology conference in California.

"There was impact for a very short time on the morale of the employees, but I think they have come around," Hirai said.

"We did learn some lessons with becoming more robust in terms of security, and we have done that. We have come out being a stronger and more resilient business."

The November 2014 cyber attack against Sony led to an online leak of employee information, unreleased films and embarrassing in-house emails.

The hackers also mounted threats against Sony over the planned Christmas release of "The Interview," which depicts a fictional CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

US investigators have said North Korea, which has repeatedly denied involvement, was behind the attack, but some experts have raised doubts about the conclusions of the FBI probe.

Washington authorized a new layer of sanctions on several Pyongyang institutions and officials in retaliation for the attack.

The impoverished but nuclear-armed state was already heavily sanctioned following a series of nuclear and missile tests staged in violation of UN resolutions.