Thu, May 19, 2011 - Page 10 News List

‘It’s a bad new world’: Sony

AFP, TOKYO

Sony CEO Howard Stringer has warned he can no longer guarantee the security of the electronics giant’s gaming network in the “bad new world” of cybercrime after one of the biggest Internet data breaches.

The Japanese multinational has begun restoring its hacked PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment services after the theft of personal data from more than 100 million accounts in a cyber attack estimated to have cost the firm US$1 billion.

The company has bolstered -security, but Stringer, speaking for the first time about the crisis on Tuesday, said protecting private information was a “never-ending process” and he did not know if anyone could be “100 percent secure.”

Sony shut down the -PlayStation Network and Qriocity music streaming service on April 20 after its data center in San Diego, California was hacked — but it did not reveal the breach until April 26.

The company has said it cannot rule out that millions of credit card numbers may have been compromised.

Stringer, 69, warned hackers might one day target the global financial system, the power grid or air-traffic control systems.

“It’s the beginning, unfortunately, or the shape of things to come,” he told Dow Jones Newswires. “It’s not a brave new world — it’s a bad new world.”

Stringer said the FBI probe into the matter was continuing, but declined to provide an update on the findings.

He said it was too early to assess the financial impact of the outage, with the company reporting its full-year results on May 26, but analysts estimate the breach will cost the company as much as US$1 billion.

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