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Sony Confirms Latest Hacker Intrusion

Sony Corp. (6758) said it contacted the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and took action to protect its websites after intrusions by a group of hackers.

“We have confirmed that a breach has occurred and have taken action to protect against further intrusion,” Michael Lynton, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said in a statement. “We also retained a respected team of experts to conduct the forensic analysis of the attack.”

A group calling itself LulzSec posted statements online saying it broke into SonyPictures.com and downloaded unencrypted personal information, including passwords, e-mail addresses and dates of birth from 1 million user accounts.

The attack was the latest on Tokyo-based Sony, which in the past two months said more than 100 million accounts were compromised after hackers broke into its networks. Sony, which two days ago resumed full operation of the PlayStation Network in the U.S. and Europe after six weeks of suspension, said last month the intrusions will cost about 14 billion yen ($173 million) this fiscal year.

“My biggest concern is whether the expense related to unauthorized accesses will stay within 14 billion yen,” Tsunenori Ohmaki, an analyst at Tachibana Securities Co. in Tokyo, said yesterday. Online businesses have become more important to Sony as its main TV unit probably won’t contribute to earnings in the near future, he said. More...

06-04-2011 21:32