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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PHX Corp@prh99 Not to mention the Dangerous Precedent that sony's hacking scandal just set http://mashable.com/2014/12/17/sony-hackers-precedent/12/18/2014 - 8:25am
Matthew WilsonI hope its released to netflix or amazon12/18/2014 - 12:11am
prh99Basically they've given every tin pot dictator and repressive regime a blue print how to conduct censorship abroad. The hecklers veto wins again. At least when it comes to Sony and the four major theater chains.12/17/2014 - 11:55pm
MaskedPixelante"It's not OUR fault that our game doesn't work, it's YOUR fault for having so many friends."12/17/2014 - 9:48pm
Matthew Wilsonapparently tetris did not work because he has a full friends list12/17/2014 - 9:21pm
WonderkarpSo Sony cancelled the release of the Interview. was it ever confirmed that the Sony hacking was done because of that specific movie?12/17/2014 - 8:54pm
MaskedPixelanteWow, Ubisoft went four for four, I didn't think it was actually possible.12/17/2014 - 8:37pm
MechaTama31Oh, ok, I was mixing up "on Greenlight" and "Greenlit".12/17/2014 - 8:23pm
Matthew Wilson@phx you beat me to it. how do you screw up tetris?! my ubisoft this is just stupid. no one should ever preorder a ubisoft game again! ps people should never preorder any game regardles of dev.12/17/2014 - 6:28pm
PHX Corphttp://www.ign.com/videos/2014/12/17/what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-tetris-ps4 I give up on ubisoft12/17/2014 - 6:01pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://comicbook.com/blog/2014/08/16/exclusive-original-unaltered-cut-of-star-wars-trilogy-to-be-rele/ Yeah, this'll never happen.12/17/2014 - 5:03pm
NeenekoThey have and exercise control over which games are allowed on their privately controlled 'open forum'. Their endorsement is fairly minimal since it is only 'we do not reject this', but it is still an endorsement of sorts.12/17/2014 - 3:58pm
NeenekoHistorically there have been issues with libraries allowing some groups but not others. Perhaps 'endorsement' is too strong a word, but their editorial control IS a preapproval process, even if the standards are pretty minimal.12/17/2014 - 3:56pm
E. Zachary KnightLet's put this a different way. My local library allows any group to reserve and use multipurpose rooms. That does not mean that the Library endorses all events that take place in those rooms.12/17/2014 - 12:54pm
E. Zachary KnightValve's editorial control comes from removing problem games and accepting games to Steam. They make no claim over any games otherwise.12/17/2014 - 12:52pm
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, It is not at all a form of endorsement. Grenlight is an open forum for game developers to pitch their game to Valve/Steam and Steam users. Does Valve have some editorial control? Yes, but not to the point that they preapprove games.12/17/2014 - 12:51pm
Neeneko@EZK - I disagree. Greenlight is built off Valve's brand. While not an explicit endorsement, it is a form of it, otherwise Greenlight would have no value over other platforms.12/17/2014 - 12:05pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.latino-review.com/news/exclusive-viola-davis-bags-amanda-waller-role-in-suicide-squad Latino Review says Viola Davis will be Amanda Waller. History of Latino Review says "wait for a REAL news site to confirm".12/17/2014 - 10:48am
PHX Corphttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/17/7407869/assassins-creed-unity-glitch-broken-problems-xbox-one-patch -Facepalm- Screwup means Assassin's Creed Unity's patch is the 40GB full game on Xbox One12/17/2014 - 10:17am
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