Sony seeks to delay filing earnings in wake of cyberattack

The company says it needs more time to file its quarterly report because certain computer systems won't be back online until next month.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Sony is still working to restore some of its key computer applications in the wake of a devastating hack that hit its movie studio late last year. As a result, the company has asked for an extension in filing its next earnings report.

On Friday, Sony said that most of the "financial and accounting applications and many other critical information technology applications" for Sony Pictures Entertainment won't be up and running until early February because of the "amount of destruction and disruption that occurred" following the cyberattack. Sony has asked the Financial Services Agency of Japan to move the deadline for its fiscal third-quarter earnings from February 16 to March 31.

On November 24, the company discovered that the computer network of Sony Pictures had been hacked. A group calling itself #GOP, aka "Guardians of Peace," claimed responsibility and said it had obtained internal information. The security breach turned out to be more serious and pervasive than initially believed. Hackers leaked the personal information -- including Social Security numbers -- of more than 47,000 celebrities, freelancers, and current and former Sony employees. They also leaked yet-to-be released movies, as well as emails between Sony Pictures executives, among other internal documents. The company was forced to shut down its entire network.

The hackers claimed they attacked the network because they objected to the Sony Pictures movie "The Interview," a comedy about an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Sony initially decided not to release the film after the hackers implied that movie theaters screening it would be attacked. But the studio reconsidered and the film has since been released in theaters and online. The FBI has blamed North Korea for the attack. North Korea denied that it was responsible but expressed support for the hack.

While Sony continues working to restore its damaged systems, the company said it will hold a press conference on February 4 to provide forecasts for its fiscal third-quarter results based on whatever information is available at that point.

Sony did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.