Sony fined in UK over PlayStation cyberattack (Update)

Jan 24, 2013 by Cassandra Vinograd
In this Aug. 19, 2009 file photo, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan President Shawn Layden displays a new PlayStation 3 during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan. Britain's Data Regulator fined Sony 250,000 pounds ($396,100) on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 for having insufficient security measures to prevent a 2011 cyberattack on its PlayStation Network. The attack in April 2011 targeted credit card information through Sony's PlayStation Network and put millions of users' personal information - including names, addresses, birth dates and account passwords - at risk. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)

British regulators have fined Sony 250,000 pounds ($396,100) for failing to prevent a 2011 cyberattack on its PlayStation Network which put millions of users' personal information—including names, addresses, birth dates and account passwords—at risk.

Britain's Information Commissioner's Office said Thursday that security measures in place at the time "were simply not good enough." It said the attack could have been prevented if software had been up to date, while passwords were also not secure.

David Smith, deputy commissioner and director of data protection, acknowledged that the fine for a "serious breach of the Data Protection Act" was "clearly substantial" but said that the office makes "no apologies" for that.

"There's no disguising that this is a business that should have known better," he said in a statement. "It is a company that trades on its technical expertise, and there's no doubt in my mind that they had access to both the technical knowledge and the resources to keep this information safe."

Smith called the case "one of the most serious ever reported" to the data regulator.

Sony, which has previously apologized for the data breach, said Thursday it "strongly disagrees" with the ruling and plans to appeal.

David Wilson, a spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., said the company noted that the ICO recognized that Sony was the victim of a criminal attack and that there is no evidence payment card details were accessed.

"Criminal attacks on electronic networks are a real and growing aspect of 21st century life and Sony continually works to strengthen our systems, building in multiple layers of defense and working to make our networks safe, secure and resilient," he said in a statement.

Explore further: IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sony PlayStation network users face password change

May 01, 2011

Users of Sony's PlayStation Network will have to change their passwords, the Japanese entertainment and technology giant said Sunday as it looks to boost security after its system was hacked.

Hackers claim new Sony cyberattack

Jun 03, 2011

Hackers have claimed to have compromised more than one million passwords, email addresses and other information from SonyPictures.com in the latest cyberattack on the Japanese electronics giant.

Sony sued over PlayStation Network hack

Apr 29, 2011

Sony is being sued in US court by gamers irked by news that a hacker cracked PlayStation Network defenses and pilfered data that could potentially be used for fraud or identity theft.

Sony says stolen PlayStation credit data encrypted

Apr 28, 2011

(AP) -- Sony is telling PlayStation users that it had encrypted the credit card data that hackers may have stolen, reducing the chances that thieves could have used the information. ...

Hackers claim stealing SonyPictures.com passwords

Jun 02, 2011

Hackers claimed on Thursday to have stolen more than one million passwords, email addresses and other information from SonyPictures.com in the latest cyberattack on the Japanese electronics giant.

Sony to restore PlayStation Network by end of May

May 10, 2011

(AP) -- Sony said Tuesday it aims to fully restore its PlayStation Network, shut down after a massive security breach affecting over 100 million online accounts, by the end of May.

Recommended for you

Weibo IPO below expectations, raises $285.6 mn

10 hours ago

Sina Weibo sold fewer shares than expected in its US IPO which was priced below expectations ahead of a Thursday listing that takes place after tech selloffs on Wall Street.

'Chief Yahoo' David Filo returns to board

11 hours ago

Yahoo announced the nomination of three new board members, including company co-founder David Filo, who earned the nickname and formal job title of "Chief Yahoo."

Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work

12 hours ago

Yahoo's recently fired chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, left the Internet company with a severance package of $58 million even though he lasted just 15 months on the job.

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump (Update)

21 hours ago

IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exacerbated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...