Former Sony CEO has some advice for ransomware victims

Cyberattack WannaCry possibly linked to North Korea code

If there’s anyone who knows what the idea’s like to weather a crippling cyberattack, the idea’s Michael Lynton.

Lynton helmed Sony Entertainment (SNE) when the idea was the target of a massive hack in December 2014. Hackers, who were linked to the North Korean government, crashed the company’s computer systems in addition to also leaked the studio’s films in addition to also emails containing sensitive information. Lynton said the idea left the studio in crisis mode for “easily” 5 months.

“the idea was one of those instances where the company might’ve either fallen off a cliff in addition to also not survived or … pull the idea through, through collective action,” said Lynton at the Lerer Hippeau Ventures’ annual CEO Summit in completely new York on Wednesday.

the idea’s a situation which more businesses will undoubtedly find themselves in. Organizations around the globe are reeling through a large-scale global cyberattack which hit last week. Researchers have found potential links to the same North Korean hackers.

michael lynton

Lynton said the Sony hack was predated by a threat through North Korea urging Sony not to produce The Interview, a comedy about trying to assassinate Kim Jong-Un. At the time, Lynton says Sony took what the idea thought was the necessary precautions. yet quite simply, Lynton said they didn’t know what North Korea might possibly do when they moved forward with the movie’s Discharge.

Related: North Korea’s long history of hacking

Lynton, who announced he was stepping down as Sony’s chief in January 2017, shared some advice — including one personal lesson he took through the hack.

“My email at This specific point comes down onto a hard disk every ten days,” said Lynton, in conversation with Lerer Hippeau Ventures managing partner Kenneth Lerer. “To me, which’s the solution. Put the idea in a drawer in addition to also lock the drawer.”

Lynton said firms shouldn’t have healthcare records, social security numbers in addition to also additional sensitive documents on their servers, which could potentially be hacked. Should executives find themselves in scenarios like his, they should remain “ridiculously optimistic.”

Related: Researchers find possible North Korea link to massive hack

“You have to come into work every day in addition to also say to everybody around you: We are going to get through This specific,” he said. “I made a concerted effort to keep which optimistic look on my face when I came to work … you don’t want to be Pollyannish yet the idea was hugely helpful to do which.”

Lynton, who is usually at This specific point chairman at Snap (SNAP), said his job function at Sony effectively, in addition to also rightfully, changed in order which he was managing the crisis full time. “You cannot, under any circumstances, give away any authority at which point.”

sy88pgw (completely new York) First published May 16, 2017: 4:10 PM ET

Former Sony CEO has some advice for ransomware victims

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