Email has replaced the phone as a means of casual conversation in Hollywood—people have the kind of casual "conversations" over email that they'd previously only had in person. And if they trusted the correspondent—the way Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal trusted producer Scott Rudin—they weren't worried about emails being forwarded.
But that's not the case anymore. Sony's hacking scandal has people in Hollywood taking a pause before sending emails that contain confidential info.
The security breach at Sony's movie studio revealed executive's salaries, unpublished scripts and aliases that actors use when traveling incognito.
The stolen info also exposed a series of comments Pascal made about President Barack Obama. Pascal apologized for what she called "insensitive and inappropriate" emails in a statement to Deadline.com.
Hollywood execs are treating emails more like formal letters now. People who have done business with Sony in the past are searching their email archives for anything that could potentially be leaked, sources told CNBC.
The question now is how bad can it really be and who will be hurt the most. "[T]here's going to be consequences for senior people at the studio," said Sharon Waxman, founder and editor in chief of TheWrap.