Sony has spent $15 million on cyberattack

Sony Pictures estimates it has spent $15 million on costs thus far related to the massive cyberattack that crippled the Hollywood film studio’s network for months.

Despite the setback, Sony Pictures expects to still post a $20 million profit for the third fiscal quarter, which ended in December.

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Sony, the parent company of Sony Pictures, released its preliminary results for its third quarter earnings on Wednesday.

The numbers were highly anticipated because of the hack, which exposed troves of Sony Pictures’ internal documents and emails, almost caused the studio to cancel a big-budget comedy and sparked a tense standoff between the U.S. and North Korea, when the White House blamed Pyongyang for sponsoring the hit.

Despite posting a profit, the digital attack did cut into the studio’s income. The expected profit is a 90 percent decrease from Sony Pictures’ third quarter profit last year. Overall decreases in movie and TV production sales also played a large role, the company said.

The $15 million in fallout costs is far less than many were anticipating. Some estimates ran upwards of $100 million. Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton downplayed those numbers, arguing that the company’s insurance would cover a significant portion of the costs.

Still, the company can likely expect fourth quarter losses as well.

The hack spurred unprecedented interest in cybersecurity on Capitol Hill. Record numbers of lawmakers vowed action on cyber legislation, while others pushed to set ground rules about what constituted an act of cyber warfare.

Several congressional committees are devoting their first hearings of 2015 to cybersecurity.