Feeds

Sony mulls hacker bounty offer

Cash for Anonymous heads on platters

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Sony execs are mulling the possibility of offering bounties for any information that leads to the arrests of hackers who breached its network.

The unspecified reward might be only offered by Sony through the FBI in a bid to tease out information on a security breach that affected as many as 100 million customers, All Things Digital reports. No firm decision has been taken on the Wild West-style bounty idea, it adds.

The entertainment giant is slowly restoring its PlayStation Network and Online Entertainment service in the aftermath of high-profile hack attacks which spilled personal details of 77 million PlayStation Network gamers and 25 million users of its Online Entertainment services. Personal details including names, email addresses, dates of birth and phone numbers was spilled in the PlayStation Network hack.

Credit card data potentially exposed via the attack was encrypted, according to Sony. The hack attack against Sony followed days after denial of service attacks against the members of Anonymous in protest against Sony's legal action against PlayStation modders.

Two long-standing members of Anonymous told the Financial Times over the weekend that it was likely that some members of the group may have carried out the data smash-and-grab attack, despite semi-official claims to the contrary. The suspicion is based in part on a discussion about vulnerabilities in Sony's network in an Anonymous chat-room before the break-in.

Sony's reputation for security ineptitude was further enhanced over the weekend after it emerged that it had left customer details (names and email addresses) exposed on a forgotten internet-facing server. Data on 2,500 customers who applied to a sweepstake competition back in 2001 was exposed. Sony initially blamed hackers, but the truth is more mundane. "In the latest Sony hack, hackers did NOT publish customer confidential information on a website. Instead, Sony did," as F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen explains.

In one of its few sensible moves to date, Sony is offering users of its PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services a year of free identity-theft protection. The AllClear ID Plus protection, offered by Sony through Debix, will be offered to account-holders in the US only, at least initially.

"We are working to make similar programs available in other countries/territories where applicable," Sony said in a statement. ®

BOOTNOTE

Sony is reportedly looking for a CTO. Corporate headhunters should check out this impressive potential candidate, who might not himself think to apply for the job, given that he's a mythical figure from feudal Japan. And blind.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.