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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Sony PlayStation Security Breach – High Profile

Information Security
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, April 29, 2011
3:11 pm
The recent security breach affecting Sony Corp’s PlayStation network, is receiving high profile attention. As reported by Nick Wingfield in today’s Wall Street Journal:
Two U. S. Congress members are asking Sony Corp. to explain its handling of the recently disclosed data breach involving its PlayStation Network, one of the largest data thefts in history.
On Friday, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R., Calif.) and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D., N.C.), members of a Congressional subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade, asked Kazuo Hirai, the head of Sony’s videogames division, to address their concerns. The letter asked when Sony first learned of the recent breach, why it waited days to notify its customers, and how Sony intends to prevent further breaches in the future.
The scope of the data theft and and probable cost of remediation are immense:
Sony has said the breach occurred earlier this month and resulted in the loss of names, addresses and possibly credit card numbers associated with 77 million accounts on its online game network. While Sony and law enforcement officials haven’t addressed whether they have any suspects in the intrusion, one prominent target of a past Sony legal attack over a hacking incident denied any involvement in the data theft.
Sony hasn’t said what the financial impact from the data intrusion will be. Larry Ponemon, founder of a firm called the Ponemon Institute that analyzes the costs of data breaches, estimated it could run as much as $1.5 billion, including everything from Sony’s own forensic investigation, to the diversion of Sony personnel from their regular responsibilities to the cost of making amends to customers with free offerings.
Since I don’t use the PlayStation network, I am probably not affected personally by this breach, but I know a lot of folks who are.  The fact that Congress is getting involved shows what a high profile information security is attaining in today’s battles between the good guys and the bad guys.
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