Feeds

Two Brits in court over Michael Jackson back catalogue hack

Pair deny lifting unreleased tracks from Sony

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Two British men have denied hacking into Sony's systems and downloading 50,000 files covering Michael Jackson's entire back catalogue - including unreleased songs.

James Marks, 26, from Daventry in Northamptonshire, and James McCormick, 25, from Blackpool, appeared at Leicester Crown Court charged with computer hacking and copyright infringement offences. Both pleaded not guilty and were bailed to stand trial in January 2013.

Sony had bought the material from the Jackson estate for $250m (£164m) in 2010, months before data was allegedly siphoned from Sony's insecure network. A breach was discovered during an audit of Sony's gear following last year's Sony's PlayStation Network mega-hack.

"Everything Sony purchased from the Michael Jackson estate was compromised," claimed a source, talking to The Sunday Times. "It caused them to check their systems and they found the breach. There was a degree of sophistication. Sony identified the weakness and plugged the gap."

The songs allegedly lifted included an unreleased duet featuring Jackson and Queen front man Freddie Mercury, as well as unpressed versions of songs from studio recordings of Jackson's albums including Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad, according to music industry news sites. The court was told 50,000 files were allegedly swiped but this does not mean that the same number of songs were taken, contrary to earlier media reports.

Sony Music has yet to comment. Marks and McCormick were arrested by officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency in May before charges of violations against the Computer Misuse Act and Copyright, Designs and Patents Act were filed last September, a SOCA spokesman confirmed. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.