Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has lost a bid to dismiss a lawsuit brought forth by former employees whose personal information was compromised in last year’s data breach.
According to Bloomberg Business, a federal judge in Los Angeles upheld a lawsuit alleging that SPE was negligent in maintaining inadequate security measures as means to protect its corporate computer systems, some of which stored data pertaining to employee salaries and health information.
The merits of the claim that Sony made a “business decision” to not bolster its security measures following past data breaches were not considered in the ruling of U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, who did throw out some of the claims made by ex-employees, including a breach of contract.
Back in November of 2014, a group known as “The Guardians of Peace” posted a message containing links to sensitive information exfiltrated from Sony Pictures.
The hackers are believed to have infiltrated Sony’s networks approximately a month prior to their posting their message using fake Apple ID verification phishing emails that targeted top company executives.
After obtaining their Apple login information, the hackers then referred to the compromised executives’ LinkedIn profiles in an attempt to crack their Sony login credentials. They did this with the assumption that the executives had used the same username and password for both their work and personal accounts.
It was later revealed that the attackers also used Wiper malware as part of their infiltration.
On December 8th, SPE sent out a letter to its employees warning that hackers may have exposed their Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card information, medical information, and other sensitive personal data.
It was around the same time that the North Korean government was announced to have been responsible for the hack.
Robert Lawson, a spokesman for Sony Pictures, declined to comment on Judge Klausner’s ruling earlier this week.
It is currently unclear when the case, which is known as Corona v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., 14-CV-09600, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles), will proceed forward.