The Commonwealth Blog

Sony's Got a Pain in the Hack

May 6, 2011 @ 3:15 PM

By James Dohnert

The PlayStation Network is an online gaming community that allows users to download movies and games, as well as play with other gamers. Late last month the network was hacked, leaving an estimated 77 million gamers as victims of cybercrime. The incident was one of the largest data breaches in history and is just another example of the world’s latest worry, cybercrime.

"This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry. These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber security," said executive deputy president of Sony Corp. Kazuo Hirai, according to CNN. With stories like this, and others, cropping up, the question becomes: How do you we protect our information in the Internet age? As online stores become more and more prevalent in our daily lives, how do we protect ourselves from cyber theft? And is the trust we put in our online services warranted?

"The fault lies with the executives who declared a war on hackers, laughed at the idea of people penetrating the fortress that once was Sony, whined incessantly about piracy, and kept hiring more lawyers when they really needed to hire good security experts," said hacker George Hotz in a post on his blog. Sony recently sued Hotz for “jailbreaking” the company's PS3 video game console and allowing users to run the Linux operating system instead of the proprietary Sony OS on the machine. He lays the blame on the Japanese gaming company by saying, "Alienating the hacker community is not a good idea."

So with the hacker community calling the breach corporate hubris and Sony calling it a larger industry problem, what do you think? Would the security breach have been prevented if Sony spent more money on security experts and less money on lawyers? Or will cyber criminals always find a way to hack what they want? Add your comments below or on our Facebook page. And be sure to check out upcoming Commonwealth Club events on the topic for more insight into the discussion.

May 19 2011 - 6:30pm

With the Internet changing the way we shop, get our news and connect with friends, how can our privacy be protected online? Learn how to protect yourself and your personal information online with former MoveOn executive director Eli Parsier.