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Sony CEO Howard Stringer said at a shareholders' meeting that he believes his company became a target for hackers after Sony "tried to protect" its intellectual properties in its video games division.

Kris Graft, Contributor

June 28, 2011

1 Min Read

More than two months after Sony first revealed that its PlayStation Network experienced a massive cyber attack and security breach, company CEO Howard Stringer explained why the thinks Sony was in hackers' crosshairs. "We believe that we first became the subject of attack because we tried to protect our IP (intellectual property), our content, in this case video games," Stringer said at a shareholders' meeting, Reuters reported. Leading up to April's cyber attack, which left 77 million PSN and Qriocity user accounts and around 25 million Sony Online Entertainment accounts compromised, Sony had been making attempts to prevent customers from modifying their PlayStation 3 consoles. In January this year, Sony filed a lawsuit against PS3 "jailbreaker" George "Geohot" Hotz for circumventing security measures in the PS3 console -- allowing it to play unofficial software -- then publishing on the web the means to implement the hack. Hotz had maintained that the modification was not intended for software piracy, but Sony disagreed, and went after Hotz until April this year, when the two parties reached a settlement. The hack happened just days after that settlement. Stringer argued that it's not just Sony that has been a target of cyber attacks. "If hackers can hack Citibank, the FBI and the CIA, and yesterday the video game company Electronics Arts, then it's a negative situation that governments may have to resolve," he said. One shareholder asked Stringer to step down as head of the company in light of the attacks, a notion that the CEO reportedly sidestepped. Recently, Stringer defended Sony's decision to wait a few days following the discovery of a breach to inform customers that their personal information may have been compromised.

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About the Author(s)

Kris Graft


Kris Graft is publisher at Game Developer.

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