Sony Faces Possible Class Action Lawsuit over PSN Security Breach

June 24, 2011 -

A new lawsuit filed in federal court in San Diego on Monday (Cotorreal et al v. Sony Corporation Inc.) alleges that Sony's security breach of Sony Online Entertainment and PlayStation Network were the direct result of layoffs earlier in the month of April. In late April the company laid off around 205 employees from its MMO company SOE, closing down offices in Denver, Seattle and Tucson. These layoffs also affected the company's Network Operations Centre. The complaint alleges that Sony did not mention that any of these employees were part of "network operations" at the time of the layoffs.

The complaint also alleges that Sony rushed to protect data when it first learned of the security breach - but it wasn't user data they were concerned about. The company paid millions to secure sensitive corporate secrets, not offering the same level of action for customer data, the complaint contends.

The complaint cites a "confidential witness" as the source of its insider information, adding that Sony should have known that a major attack was eminent because it had experienced "smaller breaches" prior to the April 20 outage.

Lawyers for the plaintiff hope to have the complaint certified as a class action lawsuit, allowing millions of PSN customers in the United States join in.

Source: Reuters UK by way of Kotaku


Comments

Re: Sony Faces Possible Class Action Lawsuit over PSN ...

Hmmmm, well the not mentioning that people were associated with network operations is probably meaningless. I seriously doubt they were under any obligation to do that (or to publicly disclose layoffs at all).

Proving that the  breach was a direct result of any particular layoffs is going to be extremely difficult. I'll definitely want to read some of the documents when they actually get filed and become available.  Otherwise...I'm not particularly impressed so far.

 

NOTE: Poster is an attorney, I don't practice corporate law though and I don't practice in California. I'm going on general principles here.

Re: Sony Faces Possible Class Action Lawsuit over PSN ...

Sony is a publically traded company, so disclosing mass layoffs is likely required by SEC rules (as it can affect shareholder value/investor confidence), though I have no idea how much detail is needed about the employees to meet requirements. Even if SOE messed up there, though, it would be a regulatory infraction affecting investors, not grounds for a customer class-action suit.

I’m not sure where they are trying to go w/that other than saying that maybe some of the fired people could have prevented the breach, which is a hell of a stretch.

Re: Sony Faces Possible Class Action Lawsuit over PSN ...

I hate lawsuits like this.  If company A fires one person, and that person installs a virus on the network after being fired, then that person is soley to blame for the aftermath.  Think of the consequences of actually winning this lawsuit:  every single person laid off from SOE can then be sued by Sony for all of the damages, because a win would mean there is reasonable evidence to believe the initial claim.

I'm sorry, the criminal is solely responsible for the crime and the aftermath.

Re: Sony Faces Possible Class Action Lawsuit over PSN ...

I wouldn't say solely. If you're setting things up on a major network so that one person can do that damage without getting caught (or even ABLE to do it), you're doing it wrong.

 

Re: Sony Faces Possible Class Action Lawsuit over PSN ...

I'm getting from the article that Sony fired the staff that could have dealt with and maybe prevented the hack-in.  Still, that only makes Sony naive, not to blame.

There is the situation with state and Federal laws regarding the safekeeping of personal information.  I don't know about that, but that sounds like fines, not a class-action.  Let's face it, class-actions are supposed to support an entire group on legitimate complaints, not to blackmail a company into a settlement where the attorney's get millions and the class gets, well, nothing but the "Welcome Back," plan, and "Welcome Back" is more than enough.

Re: Sony Faces Possible Class Action Lawsuit over PSN ...

I've heard of this kind of attack way back when I was going to community college.  All it could be was a very innoccuous file that had some code in it that activated when the employee was taken off of the payroll.  The class I was in explained how the attack works, not how it's made.

Re: Sony Faces Possible Class Action Lawsuit over PSN ...

If it turns out that this was actually a premeditated attack on the part of some disgruntled employees, this could be very interesting indeed.

Re: Sony Faces Possible Class Action Lawsuit over PSN ...

 Now this will be an interesting lawsuit to read.....

 
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IronPatriotI googled appeal esrb.org and it is the first and third hits. Second is esrb talking about appeals for web publishers. Gamefaqs is fourth.05/29/2015 - 4:01am
IronPatriotZachary said he did not find any information about a formal appeals process. I did a simple search and found two places on the esrb site with the info. Just sayin.05/29/2015 - 3:57am
IronPatriotOn Google I get "1 Written Testimony of Patricia E. Vance President ... - ESRB" http://www.esrb.org/about/news/downloads/pvtestimony_6_14_06.pdf05/29/2015 - 3:55am
Andrew EisenNow, that post on GameFAQs was made four years ago. It appears the ESRB has since moved the appeals process stuff behind the publisher login on its website.05/29/2015 - 3:32am
Andrew EisenOh, third link on the Google search. Okay. That leads to a GameFAQs message board which quotes a section of the ESRB website that includes a description of the appeals process. But when you follow the link, that quote doesn't exist.05/29/2015 - 3:30am
Andrew EisenThird link down from what? Look, I'm not arguing the existance of an appeals process. There obviously is one. I was merely noting that it's odd that it isn't described on the website's ratings process section but it is on the mobile site.05/29/2015 - 3:25am
IronPatriotOK, so use the third link down, which describes the appeals process and is not on the mobile site"Publishers also have the ability to appeal an ESRB rating assignment to an Appeals Board, which is made up of publishers, retailers and other professionals."05/29/2015 - 2:47am
Andrew EisenRight, which links to the ESRB's mobile site. On the website (again, unless I'm overlooking it) the appeals process is locked behind the publisher login.05/29/2015 - 2:37am
IronPatriotHuh? Google "appeals esrb". It is the first link. Click it. No login requested.05/29/2015 - 2:31am
Andrew EisenInteresting. It's on the mobile site but unless I'm overlooking it, I don't see it under the Ratings Process on the web site. It is under the publishers section but you can't access it without a login.05/29/2015 - 2:13am
IronPatriot"Publishers also have the ability to appeal an ESRB rating assignment to an Appeals Board made up of publishers, retailers and other professionals. " Esrb05/29/2015 - 2:01am
IronPatriotZachary, did you look on the esrb site? The esrb appeals process pops up when you search "esrb appeals" http://m.esrb.org/faq_09.php05/29/2015 - 2:00am
Andrew EisenThe humor reminds me a lot of Axe Cop.05/29/2015 - 1:37am
WymorenceOh sweet god, Kung Fury is freaking awesome...05/28/2015 - 10:03pm
E. Zachary KnightWonder, I know you can revise content and resubmit it, but I can't findany information about a formal appeals process.05/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Wonderkarpever wonder if there's an appeals process for AO?05/28/2015 - 6:55pm
Matthew WilsonDanny and Andy play the first couple of levels of the upcoming Hatred http://www.gamespot.com/videos/hatred-gamespot-plays/2300-6425016/ imho it does not look like it should be AO.05/28/2015 - 5:57pm
Andrew EisenHey, remember Kung Fury? That short film that was funded via Kickstarter a few years ago? You can watch it now. I suggest you do. It's fun! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS5P_LAqiVg05/28/2015 - 5:14pm
Goth_SkunkOriginally, yes. Some content was cut out in order to reduce its ratign from AO down to M, but PC users could work around that an unlock the full content by means of a patch. Which is what I did. :D05/28/2015 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenKarp - Yes, for strong sexual content. Although the recent remaster contains all that content and was rated M.05/28/2015 - 3:54pm
 

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