Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the country’s data watchdog, said that the April 2011 cyberattack on Sony PlayStation that compromised the personal information of millions of customers was a “serious breach” of Britain’s data protection laws. And, the ICO fined the company approximately $396,000 USD.
Customer names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth, account passwords and payment card details were all compromised. According to the ICO, what caused the breach that had Sony breaching Britain’s data protection laws was the company’s failure to keep its security software up to date.
Mobile.news.com.au quoted ICO deputy commissioner David Smith’s assessment. “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.
“(Sony) 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 case is one of the most serious ever reported to us.”
Since the attack, Sony rebuilt its network platform to ensure their customers’ personal information is protected and intends to appeal the ICO decision. Said a company spokesperson, “Sony Computer Entertainment Europe strongly disagrees with the ICO’s ruling and is planning an appeal.”
Sony also wanted it noted that the ICO recognized the company was “the victim of ‘a focused and determined criminal attack’, that ‘there is no evidence that encrypted payment card details were accessed’, and that ‘personal data is unlikely to have been used for fraudulent purposes.'” Nevertheless, Sony is still going to be $396,000 poorer.