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Sony hires a US Department of Homeland Security official

Director of cybercrime centres to increase Sony security
Tue Sep 06 2011, 12:34

GAMING CONSOLE MAKER Sony has hired a former US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defence official to fill its primary security post after a series of large scale attacks on its gaming networks by hackers earlier this year.

The position of chief information security officer and senior vice president will be filled by Philip Reitinger, who previously worked as director for the US National Cyber Security Centre and executive director for the US Department of Defence Cyber Crime Center, which gives him plenty of experience with cybercrime.

Reitinger will report to Nicole Seligman, executive vice president and general legal counsel for Sony US, suggesting that the appointment will not just be about bumping up security, but will also involve tracking down some of the people behind this year's attacks.

Reitinger has also previously worked for Microsoft as chief security strategist, so he also has experience working with top technology firms.

"Certainly the network issue was a catalyst for the appointment," said a Sony spokesperson, according to Reuters. "We are looking to bolster our network security even further."

The attacks against Sony's Playstation Network and Qriocity services began in April, resulting in over 100 million user accounts, including credit card details, being exposed. The networks were taken offline for a number of weeks, with full services not resuming in some regions until July. Sony's online gaming service that runs Everquest and Star Wars Galaxies was also attacked.

At the time Sony vowed to involve law enforcement, but so far there has been little success in finding and prosecuting the people responsible for the attacks. Perhaps hiring Reitinger will help. If not, he might at least be able to help improve security to prevent another costly hacking incident. µ


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