PlayStation fans may remember a dark time from almost two years ago when the PSN went down for almost a month. The cause? A massive cyberattack that crippled the network and led to account details for over 77 million users to be stolen. It could be assumed that Sony has tried to put that nasty business behind it, but it’s being dragged back up as the company is being hit with a fine.
The UK’s Information Commissioner Office has hit Sony with a $395,000 fine for being in violation of the Data Protection Act. The Office says that the hack, and the resulting fine, could have been avoided if Sony’s server software “had been up-to-date.”
Here’s the full statement from David Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection:
“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 penalty we’ve issued today is clearly substantial, but we make no apologies for that. 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.
If there’s any bright side to this it’s that a PR Week poll shortly after the breach found the case had left 77 per cent of consumers more cautious about giving their personal details to other websites. Companies certainly need to get their act together but we all need to be careful about who we disclose our personal information to.”
So what will Sony do? A spokesperson told IT World that it plans to appeal the fine. If the appeal falls through, Sony can have the fine reduced to $316,000 if it pays by February 13. I’m sure the payment will come with a box of these.