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Sony Pictures hack cost the movie studio at least $15 million

The U.S. government blamed the North Korean government for hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment, possibly in retaliation for the movie ‘The Interview.” (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The massive hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has so far cost the firm $15 million, the company said Thursday in its first disclosure of financial losses related to the cyberattack that began last November.

The costs were related to “investigation and remediation” costs directly related to the hack, which the FBI has blamed on the North Korean government. The movie studio was in the middle of releasing the comedy “The Interview,” which plots the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

Sony Corp. revealed the financial losses in a preliminary forecast of third-quarter earnings for the period ending Dec. 31. The firm had asked for more time to release its financial results because of the hack on its motion pictures unit. Final results will be released on March 31.

Experts in cybersecurity have estimated the company’s losses due to the attack could reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars. The firm this week did not go into detail on the projected losses. But Sony Pictures Entertainment’s revenues during the quarter were down 11.7 percent to $1.63 billion due to weaker home entertainment and theater sales. After hackers threatened to attack theaters that released “The Interview,” several major theater chains pulled their planned Christmas day releases.

“The Interview” was not released in international theaters and only generated $4 million from U.S. theaters.

The company said, however, that most of the damage from the hack has been done.

“Sony believes that the impact of the cyberattack on its consolidated results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015 will not be material,” the company said in its report.