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The Sony Hack Could Actually Help 1 Industry

The Sony Hack Could Actually Help 1 Industry

FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE) may have received new business this week after hackers took down the computer systems at Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE). Hackers were also able to leak a handful of unreleased movies, which could cost the company several million dollars.

According to Reuters, Sony hired Mandiant (FireEye's forensics unit) to deal with the attack.

"I'm a huge believer that cyber security is one of the few technology super cycles that are going to come forth," Sean Udall, CIO of Quantum Trading Strategies and author of The TechStrat Report, told Benzinga. "I actually think we're in one. I think we're in the beginning stages of the super cycle."

Udall said that he actually likes FireEye, a stock he believes is "hated" by some investors.

"I look at the Sony thing from a broader standpoint: I think it's good for the security space and the security companies are poised to benefit," Udall added. "That's how I view this."

Related Link: Apple's Success Has Made It Part Of The 'Payola Scheme'

Downloads Galore

"Fury" and "Annie" are among the new Sony films that have been leaked by hackers.

Variety reported that 880,000 people downloaded "Fury" between November 27 and November 29. On November 30 that number jumped to 1.2 million downloads.

"Annie," which is due for release on December 19, has been downloaded 206,000 times.

Based on the average movie ticket price of $8.08, Sony may have lost $9.69 million (1.2 million downloads x $8.08 = $9,696,000) for "Fury" and $1.66 million (206,000 downloads x $8.08 = $1,664,480) for "Annie."

"Still Alice," "Mr. Turner" and "To Write Love on Her Arms" were also leaked, but consumers have downloaded those pirated films at a much slower pace.

'Hazard Of The Business'

Tech industry expert and analyst Jeff Kagan referred to movie leaks and piracy as a "hazard of the business."

"This is a problem that's been with us for years and it's going to continue to be with us for years," said Kagan.

"It's ratcheting up -- it's not under control. It happens more and more often. Companies and governments are going to have to be a lot more attentive because we see break-ins at so many big, brand-name stores and companies and governments that it's just getting worse and worse."

Kagan thinks Sony will recover, just as other firms have in this scenario.

"The first ones (the early ones) always take a hit, so Sony will certainly take a hit," Kagan added. "But they'll recover because I think over the course of the next [few years] we're going to see many, many big, high-profile companies [get hacked].

"Whereas we thought it was the big, high-profile companies that were sound asleep, not really protecting themselves, it's really the bad guys getting better at breaking in. It's not going to go away."

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.


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