Friday, December 5, 2014

Celebrity Social Security Numbers Revealed

The hits from the hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment just keep on coming as more than 47,000 Social Security numbers were released, including those belonging to celebrities — Sylvester Stallone, among them. While the company says it’s committed to releasing the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy “The Interview,” about a plot to kill the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, there is no way of knowing what other information may come to light before its opening.

Other celebrities who had their Social Security numbers released include “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” director Judd Apatow and Australian actress Rebel Wilson. The Japan-based corporate owners of Sony are distancing themselves from the release, according to insiders. The controversial movie stars the handsome Franco as a TV reporter recruited by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean leader.

Yesterday, an unnamed North Korean official told radio outlet Voice of America that the country was not responsible for the ransacking of Sony’s information technology. Sony’s bad week got worse Thursday as media outlets combed through years of internal documents to expose some of Hollywood’s free-spending ways. While Sony has been trying to cut its own overhead with a cost-saving goal of $100 million in 2014, it spent $74,000 to have tigers appear in the movie and paid Rogen and Franco a combined $15,000 to drive themselves to the set.

The documents exposed the salaries of Rogen, who got $8.4 million for his work, and Franco, who received $6.5 million. The wire service also reported that $241 was spent on “a table of weed, coke, pills and panties.” With Sony’s corporate passwords and the credit card details of CEO Michael Lynton also available in the data dump.

One person familiar with Sony defended the firm, saying that the malware was the kind that was previously unknown and therefore wasn’t identified by the movie company’s security scanning process. The theft of data is a corporate embarrassment that could continue for weeks and months for Sony Pictures, but it hardly affected the parent company’s US depository receipts, which rose 0.77 percent in yesterday’s session to end at $22.12. The stock has risen 28 percent year to date.

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