Sony CEO praises employees for standing up to 'extortionist' hackers

Sony chief executive officer Kazuo Hirai speaking during an investors' conference in Tokyo on Nov 18, 2014. Mr Hirai has praised employees and partners of the company's Hollywood movie studio for standing up to "extortionist efforts" of hackers who a
Sony chief executive officer Kazuo Hirai speaking during an investors' conference in Tokyo on Nov 18, 2014. Mr Hirai has praised employees and partners of the company's Hollywood movie studio for standing up to "extortionist efforts" of hackers who attacked Sony Pictures Entertainment in November. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LAS VEGAS (REUTERS) - Sony Corp Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai on Monday praised employees and partners of the company's Hollywood movie studio for standing up to "extortionist efforts" of hackers who attacked Sony Pictures Entertainment in November.

Current and former employees of the studio were "the victims of one of the most vicious and malicious cyberattacks we have known in recent history," Mr Hirai said during a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show. "I'm very proud of all the employees, and the partners we have worked," he said.

A massive cyberattack, which the US government has blamed on North Korea, debilitated Sony Pictures' computer network in November and led to the online leaks of unreleased movies and embarrassing emails.