Risk
1/27/2013
04:35 PM
Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson
Quick Hits
50%
50%

Sony Fined Nearly $400,000 For 2011 Database Breach

British government levies record penalty for a data compromise at Sony

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has been hit with a fine of nearly $400,000 for negligence in protecting the personal data of customers during a hack that occurred in April 2011.

The penalty, which was levied by the UK Information Commissioner's Office last week, suggests that the attack could have been prevented if the electronics and gaming giant had kept its software up to date and followed best practices for protecting passwords.

"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," said David Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection at the ICO, in a written statement. "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," Smith stated. "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 penalty we've issued today is clearly substantial, but we make no apologies for that," the statement says. "The case is one of the most serious ever reported to us. It directly affected a huge number of consumers, and at the very least put them at risk of identity theft."

In a redacted version of its monetary penalty notice published last week, the ICO noted that Sony had been attacked by hackers several times previous to the distributed denial-of-service attack that resulted in the data loss in question.

"Therefore, the data controller [Sony] should have anticipated a further attack on its systems and taken appropriate security measures," the notice states. "Instead, the data controller was storing vast amounts of personal data," including financial information, on its systems, the ICO says.

Sony plans to appeal the penalty, according to news reports.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2011-4403
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Zen Cart 1.3.9h allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) delete a product via a delete_product_confirm action to product.php or (2) disable a product via a setflag action to categories.ph...

CVE-2012-2930
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in TinyWebGallery (TWG) before 1.8.8 allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) add a user via an adduser action to admin/index.php or (2) conduct static PHP code injection attacks in .htusers...

CVE-2012-2932
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in TinyWebGallery (TWG) before 1.8.8 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) selitems[] parameter in a copy, (2) chmod, or (3) arch action to admin/index.php or (4) searchitem parameter in a search action to admin/...

CVE-2012-5451
Published: 2015-04-24
Multiple stack-based buffer overflows in HttpUtils.dll in TVMOBiLi before 2.1.0.3974 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (tvMobiliService service crash) via a long string in a (1) GET or (2) HEAD request to TCP port 30888.

CVE-2015-0297
Published: 2015-04-24
Red Hat JBoss Operations Network 3.3.1 does not properly restrict access to certain APIs, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary Java methos via the (1) ServerInvokerServlet or (2) SchedulerService or (3) cause a denial of service (disk consumption) via the ContentManager.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.