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Investors have been calling for Sony CEO Howard Stringer to step down after the company has suffered from unprecedented attacks, triggered by its policies.  (Source: AP Photo)

The Sony chief called the hackers that struck his company "terrorists" and refused to accept responsibility for any part of the blame in the attacks.  (Source: Paramount Pictures)
Sony stock has plunged since attacks on anticipation of billions in losses

Tensions ran high in a conference call with Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) chief executive Sir Howard Stringer.  In recent months, following a series of attacks, the company’s stock has plunged 16 percent.  During the call, Mr. Stringer faced cries for his resignation and defended his company's behavior.

Sony lost over 100 million user records in the attacks.  Sony has stated that it expects to pay around ¥14B (about $172M USD) for the breach, or about $2 per record lost.  That is a tremendously unrealistic figure given that the 2010 average for such breaches from large corporations was $318M USD.

Indeed, Sony has already been hit by multiple class action lawsuits in the U.S. alone.  The most recent suit alleges that Sony laid off employees in the unit responsible for securing the PlayStation Network (PSN) just weeks before the breach.  Sony is accused of spending lavishly to protect its corporate networks, but maintaining little protections for its consumers' data.

Several prominent investors have called on Mr. Stringer to step down, as they say his tactics landed the company in this mess.

Mr. Stringer in the conference call to investors dodged these demands and shifted blame to the hackers, stating, "We believe that we first became the subject of attack because we tried to protect our IP (intellectual property), our content, in this case videogames."

He adds, "I think you see that cyber terrorism is now a global force, affecting many more companies than just Sony. 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."

Sony has a long history of resorting to questionable tactics in the name of intellectual property "protection".  

Back in 2005, the company installed root kits on users' computers via music CDs.  The botched copy protection effort allowed malicious hackers to infect unwitting users' machines.  As a result the company was forced to pay major damages in a successful class action lawsuit.

Likewise, Sony initially promoted Linux for the PlayStation 3, only to reverse position and turn its back on Linux PS3 users.  It could have merely cut support, but instead it actively tried to lock users with internet-connected consoles out of Linux, citing supposed "security concerns".  

And when hardware hacker George "GeoHot" Hotz posted information to restore support (via jailbreaking the console) Sony harassed him in U.S. court, abusing questionable judicial decision to invade the young man's privacy.  Worse yet, its ongoing legal harassment efforts look likely to land a young German in jail for bankruptcy, thanks to the costs of his legal battle with Sony.  Not intimidated, the German hardware expert says Sony will have to "kill" him to silence him

Sony has taken a brazen stance towards would be attackers.  A spokesperson for Sony Pictures spokesperson recently contacted DailyTech claiming LulzSec had posted misleading information about the number of customers exposed in a recent hack, essentially calling the hackers liars.  Faced with negative feedback that our story generated, the Sony Pictures spokesperson later contacted us in hopes that we might take down the story.  We refused to do so, though we agreed to obfuscate the spokesperson's identity to prevent them against personal retaliation. 

In the conference call, Mr. Stringer refused to acknowledge the calls for his resignation.  However, in previous remarks he has stated that Kazuo Hirai, 50, hired in April to be second-in-command at Sony, is in "pole position" to take over from him at an unspecified time.

Mr. Stringer says roughly 90 percent of PSN subscribers returned post-breach, though a number of customers remain angry.

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No more Sony for me.
By cochy on 6/28/2011 10:31:07 AM , Rating: 5
Plain and simple. This company has lost every last bit of goodwill from me. I'll not be purchasing anything anymore from Sony. Won't let my PS3 go to waste though, I'll just buy second hand discs from Amazon.

RE: No more Sony for me.
By Breakfast Susej on 6/28/2011 10:37:43 AM , Rating: 1
I already sold all my ps3 games. I am debating selling the ps3 as well, but I do actually use it for a blu ray player and media player to play downloaded TV.

I would use it for netflix as well if netflix Canada didn't suck so horribly.

There's no way I am putting any of my personal info in Sony's hands again. Especially right now when they keep painting a big fat bulls-eye on themselves.

Likewise I have zero faith that they are making any strong efforts to secure their network. I picture them doing the absolute minimum to get things back on line then going back to business as usual.

RE: No more Sony for me.
By Arsynic on 6/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: No more Sony for me.
By cochy on 6/28/2011 11:51:04 AM , Rating: 5
To the biggest breach of consumer privacy ever? I think it's not reaction enough.

RE: No more Sony for me.
By neogrin on 6/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: No more Sony for me.
By JakLee on 6/28/2011 1:12:27 PM , Rating: 4
Troll much?

yes actually - quite a bit. It's kinda fun and entertaining actually, you should try it sometime!

RE: No more Sony for me.
By keegssj on 6/28/2011 2:07:09 PM , Rating: 3
I stopped considering anything from Sony after they put rootkits on CDs.

Any company with that much disdain for its customers doesn't deserve my business.

They've managed to prove that it was a good choice, just about every time I hear about them in the news.

RE: No more Sony for me.
By Lazarus Dark on 6/28/2011 9:37:45 PM , Rating: 5
Same here. I used to buy all Sony products since the original Walkman, but with the rootkit fiasco, I swore them off forever, as well as telling everyone I know to this day not to buy their products. And I didn't even own any of those rootkit discs.

Now, I know no corporation is either perfect or really benevolent (though I have yet to see Google deviate from their stated "dont be evil" motto). No, it's okay to make mistakes and I know corporations are all about the bottom line. The issue is: SONY NEVER APOLOGIZES for their mistakes. Any "apology" is more like, "we're sorry we got caught" or "we didn't mean for you to realize we were screwing you".

In the recent case of hacking, Sony has YET to apologize. Oh sure, they've "apologized" to their stockholders for losing money, and they've "apologized" to psn users for not really giving a dam about securing their personal info. But they still have not, and likely never will, apologized to the PS3 linux users, GeoHotz, and the hacking community for their arrogance, their abuse of the legal system, and their giving a big middle finger to the hacking/modding/linux community and taunting them to do something about it. For this reason, they deserve everything, because they have STILL not learned any lesson about how to treat their customers.

In the end though, the saddest part is that 90%+ of users don't care how many times they get screwed over, they keep coming back... so Sony is not going to stop this behavior any time soon.

RE: No more Sony for me.
By Samus on 6/29/2011 1:47:23 AM , Rating: 1
It was 1996, Sony released the PlayStation and it was a complete piece of shit.

That's when I stopped buying their crap.

RE: No more Sony for me.
By karndog on 6/30/2011 11:20:11 AM , Rating: 1
The trolling is strong with this one.

RE: No more Sony for me.
By poohbear on 7/16/2011 10:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
so sad that Sony has sunk so low. Oh how the might have fallen.:(

By Pessimism on 6/28/2011 11:16:02 AM , Rating: 5
Typical corporate fat cat hiding behind a trendy buzzword to deflect attention from his own failures.

To those whining that Sony didn't deserve to be hacked, they totally did. They were careless and irresponsible with customer information and have a long running reputation of stubborn arrogance (old school japanese business model) and shovelling proprietary standards down everyone's throat (betamax, minidisc, memory stick to name a few). Their build quality is a shadow of its former self and they continue to ride on their 80s and early 90s reputation of quality to continue gouging customers rather than reduce their prices or restore quality control. Taking away Linux from the PS3 after luring in all the rabid nerds was like throwing firecrackers into a hornet's nest and expecting not to get stung.

RE: Typical
By 91TTZ on 6/28/2011 11:22:41 AM , Rating: 2
Typical corporate fat cat hiding behind a trendy buzzword to deflect attention from his own failures.


RE: Typical
By kattanna on 6/28/2011 12:28:22 PM , Rating: 2
and lets not forget their lovely root kitted music CD's

that was simply AWESOME

RE: Typical
By theapparition on 6/28/11, Rating: 0
RE: Typical
By someguy123 on 6/28/2011 4:34:52 PM , Rating: 1
yeah...that comparison is like comparing a slap on the wrist to a punch in the face.

I doubt anyone would rape Stringer for sexual pleasure.

RE: Typical
By Snow01 on 6/28/2011 9:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
So the girl deserved to be raped because she was scantilly clad. She was asking for it.

Sony would be the girl that slept with some random guy, and cried rape because she was embarrassed when her friends found out she was loose like that.

Sony can't cry rape when they were walking around with their legs spread.

RE: Typical
By someguy123 on 6/28/2011 10:32:10 PM , Rating: 2
Sony's like a naked woman with her face down and her rear in the air out in the park taking a nap.

You can't do something so stupid without expecting something bad to happen. It wasn't right to just leak all that data but Sony left it all hanging out in the first place.

RE: Typical
By theapparition on 6/29/2011 10:12:36 AM , Rating: 2
To take that analogy a step further, would you say a girl who got naked at a party, danced on tables, got drunk and passed out "deserved" to get it. Sorry, but it's still illegal, even if her behavior was out of line in the beginning.

Similarly, police use bait cars do things like this all the time. Leaving a car running with the doors wide open is an invitation for it to get stolen. But that's not illegal. Taking someone elses property is. As you see, no amount of irresponsible behavior (leaving your property unprotected is completely legal) is justification for someone to commit a crime. Period.

Sony certainly deserved to get nailed for it's lax security. But it's customers didn't deserve it. And that's who the hackers really hurt.

Sony, cyber terrorist?
By infidel01 on 6/28/2011 1:57:16 PM , Rating: 5
Sony has not only infected people using their disks with rootkits allowing hackers to quickly and with ease take over your system but they then gathered a huge amount of useless information about its users packaged it all together and put it up on servers with little to no protection for all to see....

They then say they did nothing wrong, that they are going to pay little to nothing of the damages and that the government should take care of the issue.

Sounds like they are terrorists through ignorance to me. Sure lulz sec did some bad stuff, and releasing the information was malicious, but having a muti billion$ company fumble around on the Internet like a mule with one leg broken trying to swim is just embarrassing. Especially when that company is demanding that to use one of its products, I have to tell them every detail about my life for the last 5 years.

I figure sony is just mad at lulsec for stealing the information that sony was going to sell anyways, now they can't.

By Etern205 on 6/28/2011 3:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
By lightmessiah on 6/28/2011 9:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
If Sony is the biggest problem you have, you're doing ok.

*goes back to playing Wipeout*

He's right
By Beenthere on 6/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: He's right
By icanhascpu on 6/28/2011 10:21:44 AM , Rating: 5
You are stupid as hell.

RE: He's right
By adder on 6/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: He's right
By ClownPuncher on 6/28/2011 12:04:42 PM , Rating: 2
Those who attack other countries/companies are terrorists? I think there is a problem these days with people understanding the definition of words...

I'm attacking your post, am I also a terrorist?

RE: He's right
By aim120 on 6/29/2011 10:17:31 AM , Rating: 2
So you saying its fine to steal your passwords,your personal data.

RE: He's right
By neogrin on 6/28/2011 12:18:25 PM , Rating: 5
I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Planes crashing into skyscrapers, Cars exploding in front of government building, Releasing deadly gas in a subway line, Driving a truck full of explosives into a Marine Corp barracks...

That is Terrorism.

Using your keyboard to come up with a bunch of 0s and 1s...

not so much.

RE: He's right
By tastyratz on 6/28/2011 2:43:35 PM , Rating: 1
no he is right in a small sliver of his post but ignorantly gouping.

The "security" groups that have done this are not only exposing Sony, but terrorizing the online communities for complete anarchy as the even proclaimed themselves. Hackers are not terrorists just like men and women are not terrorists, but a bad egg can terrorize individuals in many ways.
While people may not be terrorized of their death identity theft is very buzzy right now and terrorizing individuals to feel unsafe with their online transactions through multiple hacks only hurts online commerce in a down economy. I absolutely love seeing this hit Sony and would smile smugly if they had to file chapter 13, but the sum of the actions as of late are not conducive to any other target goal besides... terrorizing. Maybe you don't know what terrorizing mean?

RE: He's right
By aim120 on 6/29/2011 10:19:05 AM , Rating: 2
Well this called cyber terrorism.

Didn't you read what the pentagan said it will do upon the attempted hack on locked martin.

RE: He's right
By icanhascpu on 6/28/2011 12:34:43 PM , Rating: 1

RE: He's right
By rabbitslayer21 on 6/28/2011 10:33:46 AM , Rating: 5
As a blanket statement, that's false. However, in this case the LulzSec group and others have been employing terrorist tactics to bend corporations to their will. The collectivist motives behind Anonymous et al. are admirable but they're using brutal, confrontational tactics. Popular rebellions like this, when successful, often lead to power systems just as authoritarian as the previous system.

Granted, America gained its independence through rebellion against oppressive authority, but revolution in this vein should be employed as a tactic of last resort. Despite its questionable business practices, Sony nor its innocent customers have NOT warranted such destructive attacks.

RE: He's right
By dagamer34 on 6/28/2011 10:46:45 AM , Rating: 3
The difference is that previous rebellions didn't attack an "entity" by releasing their customer's info. That's the equivalent of hacking the government and releasing everyone's Social Security numbers and addresses. Sure, the government is hurt, but I think the people are hurt far more. Or because you don't like your bank, you hack in and steal everyone's credit card information and release it.

Do not confuse civil disobedience with activism. The only reason tactics like these are even tolerated with governments is because you have no choice dealing with them. You don't have to use a Sony or Nintendo product, or visit Gawker's sites, or play games like League of Legends or Brink. That is YOUR choice. But don't punish others please. That's where you cross the line and just start acting like dicks.

RE: He's right
By Netscorer on 6/28/2011 11:25:06 AM , Rating: 5
How convenient has it become lately to label anything controversial a 'terrorist tactic'. The definition of the terror is to strike a fear into the enemy. By that definition, Shock and awe was a terrorist tactic. But somehow we don't call it like it is, because it would bring a negative annotation to what many consider the last American military success. Going back to the issue at hand, Frankly, I think LulzSec did not go far enough in it's war with Sony. They have released only a small sample of the data that was hacked and without this sample, the numerous lawsuits would not have been so successful as Sony could claim that no apparent damage was afflicted to their customers. Judging from the Stringer's remarks, he and Sony have not learned the right lessons though and instead or profusely apologizing to the customers for the lack of security that they had in place, they continue to shift the blame on the people who's only goal was to expose Sony incompetence and disregard to the privacy of the information they have been entrusted to manage.

RE: He's right
By rabbitslayer21 on 6/28/2011 11:46:48 AM , Rating: 1
Shock and awe is a military strategy employed in a declared war. Attacking privately-owned corporations and innocent citizens to further an organization's beliefs is terrorism. If I'm sufficiently fed up with Facebook's privacy policies, for example, I'm going to sell my stock in the company and quit using its products; I'm not going to peg Mark Zuckerberg in the head with an M40.

RE: He's right
By Netscorer on 6/28/2011 12:55:42 PM , Rating: 3
You know, Germans have also deployed 'military strategies' during the WW2 against Slavic and Jewish populations. Just by hiding behind the moniker of military strategy, you can not get the full absolution from any actions.
Again, terror is all about fear. LulzSec did not scare me, neither they scared anyone else. It was never their goal. They did, however, anger a lot of us and pointed that anger towards Sony and their incompetent management. Stop blindly calling anything that is not sanctioned from the White House a terrorist tactic and first learn to distinguish the actions that lead towards ultimate good or evil.
Many blame LulzSec as they were the robbers, but think about it. If you entrust your money to a bank and later learn that bank just put all your (and other customers) money under a small tent in the open and they were robbed, whom would you blame - the robbers or the bank? LulzSec has repeatedly stated that they did not break any sophisticated security systems, did not use any inside information to get behind the walls of defense. The hack that they used was akin to walking by the bank, seeing the pile of money under a tent with no guards in sight and getting their hands on some of the banknotes all the while without any commercial interest. If they would sell the information that they have obtained for profit, this will be a different matter. But so far nothing points toward that.

RE: He's right
By digitalreflex on 6/28/2011 10:40:32 AM , Rating: 2
There is a big difference types of hacking and they should not be all lumped in together. What Geohot did only affects products that were bought and paid for by the users whereas the other hackers stole customer data which could be considered terrorists, no where near the same offenses. It's the ones who stole data that should be persued and punished.

RE: He's right
By PReiger99 on 6/28/2011 3:31:59 PM , Rating: 2
whereas the other hackers stole customer data which could be considered terrorists

Stealing = terrorism...
If we completely disregard the lack of terror, violence and lost of lives, I guess it's *exactly* the same thing.


Blog Piece
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Blog Piece
By digitalreflex on 6/28/2011 11:43:07 AM , Rating: 2
Can't be too sick and tired of reading them if you take the time to not only read them but then comment on them.

RE: Blog Piece
By Phenick on 6/28/2011 11:47:25 AM , Rating: 1
For some reason I cannot down vote you despite logging in for the first time in like a year just to do so....

RE: Blog Piece
By Willhouse on 6/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Blog Piece
By wgbutler on 6/28/11, Rating: 0
RE: Blog Piece
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/2011 6:37:16 PM , Rating: 1
Amazing thread. Every single voice of reason has been voted down. I love it.

The mentality of the DT silent majority is such that they would be far better off reading Doctor Sues books.

RE: Blog Piece
By someguy123 on 6/28/2011 11:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
Having less people agree with you solidifies your opinion? How does this make any sense?

That said I do agree that personal opinion has no place in journalism. Information should just be provided as accurately as possible.

RE: Blog Piece
By wgbutler on 6/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Blog Piece
By karielash on 6/28/11, Rating: -1
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

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