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Huge security fail in 2011

The UK Information commissioner has fined Sony £250,000 for a shedload of security fail which led to millions of gamers’ details getting leaked online in 2011. The privacy blunder happened in April 2011, when computer hackers targeted the Sony PlayStation Network.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said the security breach was “one of the most serious” it has handled under the Data Protection Act. The £250,000 fine is the maximum penalty awarded by the ICO against a private company. The commissioner said that Sony should have  known better as it trades on its technical expertise.  He added that there was no doubt that they had access to both the technical knowledge and the resources to keep this information safe. David Smith, the ICO’s deputy commissioner and director of data protection  concluded that the attack could have been prevented if Sony’s software had been up to date, and separately found that passwords were not handled securely by the games giant.

Smith said: “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.

“The penalty we’ve issued today is clearly substantial, but we make no apologies for that. The case is one of the most serious ever reported to us. It directly affected a huge number of consumers, and at the very least put them at risk of identity theft.”