Sony, PSN and SOE: The Latest Victims
The last month or so has been a total mess for Sony, it's PlayStation Network and more recently it's Sony Online Entertainment division. The now-settled lawsuit against the hacker known as George "GeoHot" Hotz and the subsequent attacks by the netizen group Anonymous were just the beginning. The PlayStation Network, the service that allows PlayStation 3 owners to play games online and access the PlayStation Store, has been down for several weeks now after another intrusion forced Sony to completely rebuild its servers and their security layers.
Details are still scarce, but Sony has confirmed that PSN user data was compromised. With over 77 million registered PSN accounts, you can imagine how much personal info might have been snatched. Sony also revealed that its servers were running outdated software, and that there was no firewall in place to deter intruders. Sony has yet to confirm if PSN financial data (credit card info) was compromised, but they did confirm that financial data tied to nearly 24 million SOE accounts was likely compromised.
With over 100 million affected accounts/users, the Sony debacle is one of the biggest examples of personal data theft ever. Sony's not the only company to screw the pooch when it comes to protecting its customers, however. We decided to take a trip down memory lane and look at some other massive data leaks/breaches, involving companies like Gawker Media, TJX and Epsilon. Even government agencies like the Department of Veteran Affairs have had catastrophic security breaches...the hackers of the world spare no one! Of course, it should be said that some of these data leaks weren't even caused by hackers, but were instead the result of careless employees who don't take the protection of consumers (or citizens) private information very seriously.