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New York attorney general escalates Sony attack probe

Subpoena issued

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has put Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Online Entertainment on the rack over the PSN fiasco.

The New York Times is reporting that Schneiderman’s office has issued a subpoena to Sony to explain itself over the the Playstation Network data breach.

The subpoena is part of a consumer protection inquiry, and asks Sony to explain what it told its customers about security on its networks.

Sony has come under fire from various members of Congress over both the attack and its response to it. California representative Mary Bono Mack, who chaired a congressional subcommittee hearing into the events, accused the company of putting the burden on consumers to search for information about the breaches, “rather than accepting the burden of notifying them”.

“If I have anything to do with it, that kind of half-hearted, half-baked response is not going to fly in future,” she said. Bono Mack was particularly unimpressed that Sony’s first announcement about the attacks was made on the company’s blog.

Sony has accused online hacktivist group Anonymous of responsibility for the attacks, but Anonymous – or at least people claiming to speak for the group – has denied that “we are legion” note left inside Sony’s systems meant they were the perpetrators.

The vigorous response from Congress and now the NY Attorney General contrasts sharply with how the attacks have been treated in Australia, where the Privacy Commissioner has just sent a “please explain” letter, and the minister responsible for privacy has foreshadowed new legislation that was already both in the pipeline and overdue. ®

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