Feeds

Two Brits in court over Michael Jackson back catalogue hack

Pair deny lifting unreleased tracks from Sony

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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 essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.