Feeds

Two Brits in court over Michael Jackson back catalogue hack

Pair deny lifting unreleased tracks from Sony

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.