May 25, 2011

Sony Troubles Continue With New Hack

Sony has suffered yet another online security breach, this time for 2,000 customers of its Sony Ericsson joint venture in Canada.

Sony Corp. spokesman Atsuo Omagari said Wednesday that names, email and encrypted passwords may have been stolen from the Sony Ericsson Canada website, but no credit card information was taken.

"Sony Ericsson's website in Canada, which advertises its products, has been hacked, affecting 2,000 people," a Sony spokesman told AFP.

"Their personal information was posted on a website called 'The Hacker News'. The information includes registered names, email addresses and encrypted passwords. But it does not include credit card information."

He said there have been no reports of damage from the security breach and the server has been shut down. 

Over 100 million online accounts were affected in a hacking of Sony's PlayStation Network gaming service last month.

Sony also said on Tuesday that it found another security breach affecting 8,500 user accounts in a music entertainment website in Greece, involving names, phone numbers and email addresses.

Sony has also been battling production delays and sales losses after supplier factories were damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

Sony lowered its earnings projection for the fiscal year on Monday to $3.2 billion, which would be its third straight year in the red.

The company said that data breaches will result in at least a $170 million hit in known costs to operating profit this year.

"This is an ongoing problem, and the size of the damage is still unclear," Ryosuke Katsura, senior analyst at Mizuho Securities, told AFP.

"The market is expecting that Sony may need to pay compensation to affected customers. Concerns also linger that the size of the damage may be larger than currently expected if they file lawsuits against the company."

Sony CEO Howard Stringer has apologized in a letter to customers and said the company is "working with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies around the world to apprehend those responsible".


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