Sony Hack: “Christmas Gift” Reveals Michael Lynton Emails Stolen Days Before Attack

The big “Christmas gift” promised by Sony’s cyber-attackers turned out to be just the thing everyone in Hollywood has been waiting for: Thousands of emails stolen from Sony Pictures co-Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton.

Emails belonging to Sony Pictures’ Amy Pascal were released in previous days, exposing confidential company documents and embarrassing messages about Hollywood celebrities including Angelina Jolie and Screen Gems star Kevin Hart, and a damaging exchange about President Obama between Pascal and producer Scott Rudin. Sony Pictures Television President Steve Mosko also had his emails exposed in the ongoing hacking scandal.

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Tuesday’s data dump targeted the studio’s business head Lynton, including emails sent as recently as November 21, 2014 – just three days before hackers revealed their brazen cyberattack on Sony Pictures.

It includes emails between Lynton and Sony’s PR chief Charlie Sipkins regarding Sipkins’ recent exit from the company, which was made public November 21. His departure left the studio without a crisis manager on the eve of the hacking disaster.

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Emails from July also reveal Sony execs were bracing for media speculation that the prosecution of two American tourists by the North Korean government was an act of retaliation for the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy The Interview.

According to the internal communiqués, Sony brass planned to not comment publicly about the controversial film.

At a town hall meeting Monday on Sony’s Culver City lot, Lynton took point on reassuring Sony employees in the wake of the hacking attack. “Our business has a strong economic foundation,” he said. “This won’t take us down.”

More to come…

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