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Sony fined £250k by UK government for 2011 PSN hack debacle

Close to two years after it happened, Sony has been fined £250,000 by UK government for failing to update its security software leading to its PlayStation Network being hacked in 2011.

Many will remember the debacle involving Sony’s online gaming network being infiltrated, taken down repeatedly and consequently being taken offline for around a month by Sony in order for repairs and upgrades to be applied.

Although it’s never really been made clear, the hack is likely to have resulted in hundreds of thousands of UK gamers’ details being looked at and/or shared unscrupulously.

Today, the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK fined Sony a quarter of a million pounds for security failings which it described as “a serious breach of the Data Protection Act”. It’s thought that up to 77 million PSN customers’ details could have been at risk as a result of the attack.

The fine is thought to be on the light side, based on Sony’s immediate efforts to fix the security issues with its network as soon as possible, but Sony still thinks it’s unfair. The Japanese giant is going to appeal the fine, saying that it “strongly disagreed” with the ruling.

“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” said David Smith, deputy commissioner and director of data protection.

“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.”

Sony now looks to appeal the fine.

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