Sony Blames “Anonymous” For Massive Data Breach

by Jordan Richardson on May 5, 2011

It’s human nature to want to shift blame when we’ve done something wrong. We don’t want to admit to a shortcoming or a mistake, so we deflect our wrongdoings on to another party and hope for the best. Sometimes those we blame deserve it, as they may well be culpable in the evolution of our error. Sometimes it’s just smoke and mirrors.

In the case of the Sony PlayStation Network data breach, it’s hard to determine just what they’re trying to accomplish by blaming Internet group “Anonymous” for the event that exposed the personal data of millions of users.

Sony claims that Anonymous may have indirectly given the hacker access to the network. “What is becoming more and more evident is that Sony has been the victim of a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack designed to steal personal and credit card information for illegal purposes,” said Kazuo Hirai, chairman of the board of directors of Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC, in a letter to the United States Congress.

According to Sony, it was breached by the hacker at the exact same time that it was defending itself from a denial-of-service attack courtesy of Anonymous. This opened the doors up for the hacker and Sony’s security was essentially distracted like a bouncer at a strip club.

Anonymous targeted the company because they were protesting a hacker trial in San Francisco.

The problem for Sony is quickly gaining new legs, as many critics are wondering just why the company waited so long to reveal details about the breach. Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddard called on Sony to be proactive with respect to alerting its customers of problems. She also pushed for the ability to lower the boom on some serious fines that would, in theory, teach companies like Sony to take security and consumer privacy more seriously.

“Too many companies are collecting more personal information than they are able to effectively protect,” Stoddard said.

Ultimately it is Sony’s responsibility to be able to adequately protect the data of its customers. Anonymous or not, the Japanese company dropped the ball here and should face some serious consequences. A $1 billion class action suit launched on behalf of as many as one million Canadians may be a good start.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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