When Will the Sony Hacking Attempts Stop?

When Will the Sony Hacking Attempts Stop?

Hackers made another attack on Sony. In other news, grass is green and birds go “tweet.” This time, a group calling itself ‘LulzSec’ yoinked home address info, birth dates, passwords, and other sensitive information from SonyPictures.com.

Sony does seem to be attracting gobs of unwanted attention these days. Is there anything the company can actively do to muzzle hackers, or will it do any good to just turn around and hope the problem goes away?

Not to heap praise on a hacking group that steals personal information, but LulzSec’s attack wasn’t performed merely to trip up Sony after it had finally staggered back to its feet following a month of PSN downtime. There was, in fact, a method to the madness: To prove that Sony’s online security continues to be “disgraceful,” even after losing so much sensitive info entrusted to it by its fans a mere month ago.

“Every bit of data we took wasn’t encrypted,” LulzSec said in a statement. “Sony stored over 1,000,000 passwords of its customers in plaintext, which means it’s just a matter of taking it. They were asking for it.”

LulzSec has a good point, even if its means of getting that point across leaves something to be desired. Sony, like a distressing number of major companies, is not taking the security of customer data very seriously. The job of data security is often farmed out to more affordable third-parties that, as LulzSec illustrated, don’t always batten down the hatches as tightly as they should.

Nowadays, you’re far more likely to have your personal information stolen from an online source than from a physical mugging attempt. Identity theft is a serious problem that can ruin credit records and people’s lives. The attack by LulzSec is worrying, but at least it comes with a message: Sony has been entrusted with sensitive information, and it is obligated to lock up that information, dig a moat, and put a couple of dragons on guard. This is doubly true for sites that require passwords and other information before a user is even allowed to navigate the page.

So, if Sony gets super-serious about online security, will the attacks immediately cease? It’s doubtful. Some groups, like LulzSec, claim they’re merely trying to deliver a message. Others just want the notoriety that comes with breaching whatever barriers Sony has (or will) put in place. In other words, Sony can expect attacks for at least a few more months. Harsh stuff, but now’s as good a time as any for the company to build up a defense and test their walls against invaders. And it won’t be long before one of those invaders slips up and is nabbed by authorities. Sony’s not the only one that needs to be cautious.

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About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

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