Sony Entertainment’s online businesses were shutdown by hackers in April of last year and may have lost their entire catalog of Michael Jackson’s unreleased tracks including a duet with Will.i.am and a track with dead Queen singer Freddie Mercury.
One source for The Sunday Times claims that “everything Sony purchased from the Michael Jackson estate was compromised.” If this information is accurate, then Sony is facing a significant blow; it purchased Jackson’s music catalogue for $250 million in 2010 and the Guardian estimates that approximately 50,000 files were stolen.
Sony has yet to confirm the cyber attack and refused to comment on the conspiracy. Lawrence Latif, writer for the inquirer, portrayed Sony as being irresponsible in its lack of ability to track what information had been lost to the attack, “Sony couldn’t even pinpoint what data had been stolen, specifically credit card data” and went on to say that this lack of vigilance “only fanned the flames of fury among users and left the wider public with a perception that Sony was simply asleep at the wheel when it came to securing customers’ precious data.”
James Crask, senior manager at Pricewaterhousecoopers’ risk assurance practice reportedly said that preparation is key for firms when it comes to protecting against such events, stressing that the response needs to be pre-planned, that “a plan of action must be decided before a crisis”.
Sony was hacked again in October and affected over 93,000 people; thousands of user IDs and passwords and compromised.