US lawmaker asks Sony for details on data breach

Information from Sony can help Congress craft new cybersecurity laws, Cummings says

A senior U.S. lawmaker wants Sony Pictures Entertainment to provide details about its recent data breach and its cybersecurity practices, saying the information will help Congress decide whether new laws are needed.

Sony's "knowledge, information and experience will be helpful" as Congress decides whether to pass new cybersecurity laws and take steps to protect consumer and government financial information, Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, wrote in a letter Tuesday to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton.

"The increasing number and sophistication of cyber attacks on both public and private entities pose a clear and present danger to our national security and highlight the urgent need for greater collaboration to improve data security," wrote Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House of Representatives Oversight Committee.

Last week, the FBI assigned responsibility for the attack on Sony to North Korea, which presumably did it to protest the Sony movie, "The Interview," a comedy about a plot to assassinate the country's leader Kim Jong-un.

Cummings' letter asks Sony to provide him with a description of all data breaches at the company over the past year and the number of employees and customers affected by those breaches.

The lawmaker also wants Sony to provide a forensic analysis of those breaches, including any evidence of malware. He also wants a description of data protection measures the company has taken since the large November breach and recommendations from Sony on needed improvements to cybersecurity laws.

Cummings gave the company a month to respond to his letter.

Sony didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Cummings' letter.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitydata breachKim Jong-unSony Pictures EntertainmentU.S. CongressMichael LyntongovernmentElijah Cummings

More about FBIHouse of RepresentativesIDGNewsSony

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Grant Gross

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts