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Groundhog day: more Sony breaches

Barnstorming hackers continue diabolical mystery tour

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Talk of “isolated incidents” went by the board in the last couple of days, with Sony and Sony-affiliated sites compromised in Canada, Japan and Indonesia.

Let’s do the rounds:

• Canada – The Hacker News reports a breach at a Sony-Ericsson mobile store, conducted through an SQL injection attack and yielding details of around 2,000 accounts.

• Japan – Again via The Hacker News, again via SQL injection, SonyMusic.co.jp was attacked. According to Sophos, it’s not clear whether the attack compromised user data.

• Indonesia – This attack seems less serious: a page was altered on Sony Music Indonesia’s Website, and in response, the site has been closed.

According to Sophos’ Chester Wilenski, the attack on Sony Music Japan was carried out by an informal group called Lulz Security. Wilenski writes that these attackers are motivated by “fun and politics” rather than a desire to commit fraud.

“This doesn’t change the criminality of their behaviour”, Wilenski writes.

The Lulz group has claimed that it’s aware of two other Sony databases with the vulnerability it exploited in Japan.

The attack in Canada is attributed to Lebanese hackers going under the moniker Idahca.

With Sony now bleeding from its wounds, attention will turn from the financial impact – it has already allowed US$171 million for the PSN breach in April – to the matter of trust.

As the hackfest rolls around the world, Sony’s will have to answer why the same kind of vulnerability appeared across so many of its sites in different countries, and whether it had sought external assessment across all Sony-affiliated sites (including penetration testing).

Should the attacks in Canada or Japan (or an earlier attack in Greece) turn out to expose customer credit cards, those questions will become even more pressing. ®

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