Sony Fined by UK Authority for PSN Hacking

The company needs to pay £250,000 ($395,775/€297,132) for its security error

By on January 24th, 2013 10:45 GMT

Sony has just been fined a whopping £250,000 ($395,775/€297,132) by UK authority The Information Commissioner's Office over the now-infamous PSN hacking scandal from 2011, as the ICO believes the Japanese company breached the special Data Protection Act by not securing its online systems.

Sony was in the middle of a major controversy back in 2011 when hackers managed to infiltrate its PlayStation Network online service and stole plenty of sensitive data about its users, ranging from email addresses to names and even encrypted credit card data.

Since then, Sony has offered free games to all PSN users, it's secured its system, and pledged to never let such a hacking happen ever again.

For the Information Commissioner's Officer in the UK, however, this isn't enough, as the agency has just fined Sony's European division with an impressive £250,000 (around $395,775/€297,132).

According to the authority, Sony doesn't have an excuse for its lack of security, even if it took measures to compensate the victims.

"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," the ICO's deputy commissioner, David Smith, said, via Huffington Post.

"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."

Sony has countered and said that it's going to appeal the decision and warns that cyber-attacks, like those suffered by it, aren't out of the ordinary.

"Sony Computer Entertainment Europe strongly disagrees with the ICO’s ruling and is planning an appeal," the company said.

"Criminal attacks on electronic networks are a real and growing aspect of 21st century life and Sony continually works to strengthen our systems, building in multiple layers of defense and working to make our networks safe, secure and resilient."

"The reliability of our network services and the security of our consumers’ information are of the utmost importance to us, and we are appreciative that our network services are used by even more people around the world today than at the time of the criminal attack."

Do you think Sony should still be punished for its PSN hacking or do you consider the company has learned its lesson?

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