Sony owned by hackers: is this the Big One? -

Sony owned by hackers: is this the Big One?

So, should we talk about privacy now?


When Sony was first hacked in April, losing the personal info of 77 million PlayStation users to unknown attackers, I predicted the incident would likely have no impact whatsoever on the way companies and users deal with privacy. Yes, it was a massive breach. Yes, Sony failed to take simple precautions to protect its customers. And no, Sony was not respectful or clear with their own customers in explaining the incident.

But so what? To the 77 million compromised gamers, it is still difficult to say what exactly they lost. We’ve yet to see any large-scale fraud, and in the short term, Sony has bought back the business—if not the sympathies of these individuals—by throwing them a couple of free games. Well, not all of them—there is the inevitable class-action suit underway. But still, for privacy on the web, it’s been business as usual since the Sony hack.

So what would bring a privacy Chernobyl? A massive meltdown that would make us rethink the very act of sharing information with massive companies who do not necessarily have our best interests in mind? Perhaps, I speculated, if the Sony hackers dumped all of the data into the open Web where anyone could use it for any purpose, maybe then we’d have a long overdue conversation about privacy.

Well, it’s happened. And it’s happened, once again, to Sony.

LulzSec, the new kid in town when it comes to fun-loving info-anarchist vigilantism, has followed up their recent PBS attack with a crippling attack on Sony Pictures’ website. With little effort (they claim), LulzSec scraped one million names with corresponding email addresses, home addresses, telephone numbers, usernames and passwords—and they dumped all of the data into BitTorrent.

This may seem like a smaller breach than the initial Sony hack. In terms of the number of people affected, it certainly is. But the severity of the leak could be much, much greater. Sony will scramble to ameliorate things, some will sue, many will change their usernames and passwords, some will change their email addresses and even cellphone numbers. But home addresses?

These million of users are now the go-to targets for every fraudster, spammer and scumbag on the Internet. Thanks, Sony!

So…should we talk about privacy now?


Sony owned by hackers: is this the Big One?

  1. “So…should we talk about privacy now?”

    What is there to talk about? Don’t give info to strangers that you don’t want all over internet. Seems pretty simple. It is only people who want it both ways, private and public at same time, who have difficulties and you can’t legislate against stupidity.

    I am not a fan of young people involved in politics, they are too exuberant, but young people and technology are brilliant. The young have been using technology to cause enormous problems and grief for authority – Big Government and Big Business – for decades/centuries. 

    Bring on the young and their new technologies – creative destruction is what advances society.

    “Disillusioned technocrats, angry at the broken promises of kinetic change made stable, turn to procedural reforms ….. to both punish and more tightly supervise those who have failed them. They also embrace reactionary causes.” V Postrel, One Best Way 

    Gary Becker: “…. also presented evidence that discrimination is more pervasive in more-regulated, and therefore less-competitive, industries.”

    • By golly I agree with pretty much everything you said Tony. 

      Will wonders ever cease? ;)

      • “Will wonders ever cease? ”


        What is weather like today, San Diego Dave? Whenever I see your moniker I always get wistful about traveling.

        • Then neither of you understand the situation.

          • What don’t me and San Diego Dave understand, Colbert Report? 

          • Retail online is a multi-billion dollar business….and if they can’t protect their customer’s account information,  it’ll crash….doing wonders for the economy.

            PS…I have never seen the Colbert Report, so save your typing fingers.

          • All that happens is Government and Big Business get together, pass some laws that will benefit themselves, and then some anarchist kids get angry and think it is a challenge and this circle goes on and on and on …. 

            Is there reason to believe that humans can design perfect system that is hacker proof? 

          • If you think this is some kind of teenage rebellion, you might want to wise up on the 21st century.

          • You mean I’ll have to go back to buying things in a STORE! And interacting with PEOPLE. FACE TO FACE. 

            My god, the horror…..  :)

            I do see your point Em, but it is wise to keep your online presence to an absolute minimum. The chaps on my company’s dev team, for example, NEVER leave their credit card numbers stored online. When I asked them why, they all kind of chuckled. Three rules they adhere to- No stored credit card numbers, no Facebook, and no online banking from public access points. 

          • Um…store data is hackable too.

            Anything is.

            This is about security, not being a luddite.

        • A somewhat monotonous dry 24 degree. I only say monotonous as I did miss the changing of the seasons. May and September were by far my favourite months back home.

          • I was in Southern California over Christmas break years ago. When I got off plane, was taken straight to Venice Beach. 

            I well remember the freaks and also how locals were wearing light winter clothing and I was in t-shirt and shorts. It was mid – 50s. Season differences are odd, for sure. I lived abroad for decade and missed September in Ont when trees change colours. But I never missed Canadian winter. 

  2. I think the title should more properly have been written as – “Sony pwned by hackers: is the the Big One?”