Sony fined £250,000 over PlayStation hack

24 January 2013
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
Mobile version
Share |
PlayStations at Sony electronics store

PlayStations at Sony electronics store

Gaming giant Sony has been fined £250,000 by the data watchdog for a breach that compromised the personal information of millions of PlayStation users.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) issued the penalty after it found the attack on the Sony PlayStation Network in April 2011 could have been prevented.

Personal information including customers' payment card details, names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth and account passwords were exposed.

David Smith, ICO deputy commissioner and director of data protection, said: "If you are responsible for so many payment card details and log-in details, then keeping that personal data secure has to be your priority.

In this case that just didn't happen, and when the database was targeted - albeit in a determined criminal attack - the security measures in place were simply not good enough.

"There's no disguising that this is a business that should have known better. 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."

The ICO added that following the breach, Sony rebuilt its Network Platform to ensure that the personal information it processes is kept secure.

Sony temporarily shut down its network, a system that links gamers worldwide in live play, after discovering the massive security breach.

The company said at the time that personal data from 77 million users of Sony's PlayStation network had been compromised. Users were all asked to change their passwords following the breach.

Sony faced heavy criticism over its handling of the network intrusion, as it did not notify consumers of the breach until a week after it began investigating unusual activity.

A Sony spokesman said the firm will be appealing against the ICO's decision.

He said: "Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) strongly disagrees with the ICO's ruling and is planning an appeal.

"SCEE notes, however, that the ICO recognises Sony was the victim of 'a focused and determined criminal attack', that 'there is no evidence that encrypted payment card details were accessed', and that 'personal data is unlikely to have been used for fraudulent purposes' following the attack on the PlayStation network.

"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 defence and working to make our networks safe, secure and resilient."

He added that the security of customers' data is "of the utmost importance" to Sony.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1604

"Should the UK's engineers be in or out of Europe? The IET sets out its official position on the EU referendum this week - will you agree?"

->

E&T jobs

  • Solutions Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Mechanical Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Software Renewals Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Preston, Lancashire, England
    • Negotiable

    Software Renewals Manager Would you like to work in a resourceful and developing role within IT Services? We currently have a vacancy for a Software Renewals Manager at our site in Preston Channel Way. As a Software Renewals Manager, you will be responsi

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Technical Manager

    Aggregate Industries
    • Hulland Ward, Ashbourne
    • Attractive salary plus comprehensive benefits

    A key Technical Manager role driving product improvement and compliance with Aggregate Industries, market leader in Construction Solutions.

    • Recruiter: Aggregate Industries

    Apply for this job

  • Field Application Engineer

    Intel
    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Engineers and Scientists

    European Patent Office
    • Munich and The Hague
    • See job description

    We are looking for Engineers and scientists in various technical fields for our locations in Munich and The Hague.

    • Recruiter: European Patent Office

    Apply for this job

  • Director of Product Management

    EMS Recruitment Group
    • West Yorkshire
    • Circa £70,000 PA + car allowance, excellent benefits including lucrative bonus scheme

    Our client is the undoubted world leader in their field. A highly innovative and progressive specialist electro-mechanical product manufacturer....

    • Recruiter: EMS Recruitment Group

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer

    Premium job

    Scottish Prison Service
    • Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh
    • £40,654 to £48,579 plus annual supplement of £10,000

    Build Your Engineering Career. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is an Agency of the Scottish Government, working in partnership.....

    • Recruiter: Scottish Prison Service

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Installation and Commissioning Engineer

    Premium job

    Crest Solutions
    • Corby
    • Competitive

    You will be involved in installation, commissioning & servicing of printing and machine vision related solutions.

    • Recruiter: Crest Solutions

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T