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Sony blames NORK The Interview cyber strike for delayed Q3 report

Offline finance and accounting systems not back until mid-Feb

Sony plans to delay its third-quarter financial results and has blamed North Korea’s crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment’s business systems.

The media giant has asked Japan’s Financial Services Agency to extend its deadline by a month so it can compile the period’s results.

Sony needs the extension so its film unit can enter two months’ worth of trading data into financial systems taken offline in response to last November’s breach.

Sony Pictures Entertainment shut down its internal networks to contain the attack, taking essential financial and accounting applications offline.

Sony on Friday said most of those applications would not be functional again until “early” February.

This was “due to the amount of destruction and disruption that occurred, and the care necessary to avoid further damage by prematurely restarting functions.”

Sony won’t be able to complete the restart, data entry and verification and review by accountants in time for the current deadline of 16 February.

It plans to file the report on 31 March.

In its November assault on Sony Pictures Entertainment, hacker group Guardians of Peace, believed by the FBI to be the North Korean government, scooped personal details of company employees including addresses, health and social security information along with system user-names and passwords.

Sony has offered its employees 12 months of free identity protection services.

A series of embarrassing executive emails were also leaked online. Systems containing commercial material were also breached, with films including Annie and Fury posted online and downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. The theft, posting and download of the films hadn't had a material impact on results, Sony claimed.

Hackers took on Sony Pictures Entertainment for its film, The Interview, whose plot included the assignation of North Korea's people’s dictator Kim Jong-Un. ®

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