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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SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
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NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonWell that is the free market... they learned a valuable lesson restricting supply will drive up prices.04/14/2014 - 1:57pm
 

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