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Sony PlayStation Network Hacked and Pays a Hefty Fine

Jan 24, 2013


The IOC, (Information Commissioner’s Office), in the U.K. has fined Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in the amount of 250,000 pounds (US$395,775), after a crippling hacking attack of Sony’s PlayStation Network in 2011. Million of  consumers personal data was leaked, including addresses, e-mail addresses, identities, dates of birth, and account passwords. Credit card information was also at risk of being compromised.

The shocking facts are that the attacks could have been prevented if the software had been up to date. The IOC is calling this “a serious breach of the Data Protection Act”, and that this case is one of the most dangerous attacks ever reported to them. They make no apologies for such a large penalty and hope that companies hear loud and clear that there are consequences to their lack of security actions.

Sony let their consumers down and should have known better, the IOC added. Sony trades on its technical expertise, and certainly had access to both technical knowledge and the resources to keep this information secure.

The only positive note from this experience is that 77% of consumers are more cautious of giving up personal information to various websites. It’s important that we all keep a keen alert when divulging such sensitive personal data. Identity theft continues to rise and we need to continually be aware of who, what and where we choose to release important information.

Since the attacks, Sony has revamped it’s security network to the most up-to date protection. Hopefully, other companies will learn from Sony Entertainment UKs’ mistakes, by continually updating their security system to prevent hacking activities from occurring.

Unfortunately, this is a classic case of  ‘wait until something goes bad’, until action is made. However, the consequence are much worse by implementation of hefty fines, negative reputation and especially a loss of consumer trust.

Rachel Gilliland, Toronto Professional Services Team

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