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Battered Sony hires cyber-security chief

Late of US Homeland Security, Defense and Microsoft

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Sony is beefing up its security staff after the devastating hacking attack in April that crippled the Playstation Network for 23 days and led to the potential exposure of millions of users' account information.

The company has picked former US Department of Homeland Security exec Philip R Reitinger to fill the role of senior VP and chief information security officer. Reitinger has also worked in cybersecurity at Microsoft as well as at the US Departments of Defense and Justice.

"He will oversee information security, privacy and internet safety across the company, coordinating closely with key headquarters groups and working in partnership with the information security community to bring the best ideas and approaches to Sony," the firm said.

Sony has been battered on the markets since the massive hack in the spring followed by a series of smaller attacks, losing more than 50 per cent of its share value.

In total, the attacks exposed personally identifiable information for over 100 million Sony customers and cost the company at least $171m, apart from lawsuits resulting from the breaches and share losses.

The technology firm has since been struggling to answer criticism that its security was not up to scratch, with much "reviewing" and "updating" of its online security systems going on while it got its Playstation Network back online.

The Japanese company has also suffered due to the lack of consumer appetite for big-ticket items such as TVs as well as the rise of the yen against the euro. ®

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