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Sony says it was only hacked because it tried to protect its content

Less to do with security holes and more to do with intellectual property
Tue Jun 28 2011, 11:46

EMBATTLED ENTERTAINMENT FIRM Sony claims it was only hacked because it tried to protect its video game content.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer, who faces calls for his resignation over the hacking incidents, spoke at a shareholders' meeting where he tried to explain why Sony was the main victim of the recent spate of hacker attacks.

"We believe that we first became the subject of attack because we tried to protect our [intellectual property]," Stringer said.

That's most likely the case, although the hackers and their supporters might claim that Sony was going well beyond protecting its content when it sued hacker George Hotz after he broke the protection keys of the Playstation 3.

Sony eventually settled with Hotz and he has since gone on to work at Facebook, presumably to help secure it from potential hacking. However, the bad taste left in many gamers' mouths undoubtedly led to what is now infamous in the annals of hacking.

The attacks began in late April, bringing down the Playstation Newtork and Qriocity services and exposing millions of users' details, including credit card numbers, in the process. This was followed by weeks of downtime and several more hacker attacks against other Sony services, including its film and music divisions. Some of these attacks were claimed by the group Lulzsec, which recently disbanded, but it's not clear who launched the others.

Stringer tried to downplay the fact that Sony was the main target, highlighting the other companies that were also attacked. These included the rival gaming firm Nintendo. However, none of those hacks were of quite the same scale as those that hit Sony.

Stringer suggested that it is such a widespread issue that the government should do something about it. We think the companies in question might also want to pay more attention to their security, but maybe that's asking too much.

According to Reuters, Sony is far from out of the woods yet, but this time the threat comes from its own users. A class action lawsuit was filed recently accusing Sony of having sacked network security staff only a few weeks before the hacks, as well as investing heavily in securing its corporate data while leaving its customers' data exposed. µ


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