Sony drops appeal over security breach fine

By James Riches topicIcon Internet News

Electronics giant "continues to disagree" with ruling

PlayStation maker Sony has decided not to continue appealing against a £250,000 fine imposed after a serious security breach in 2011.

The Japanese company, which recently unveiled the long awaited PlayStation 4, had contested the ruling, made after a high profile hack in 2011 saw millions of users' data compromised. This allegedly included names, home addresses, email addresses, network passwords and bank card details, although Sony maintained there was no evidence that payment information had been taken.

However, it has now dropped attempts to contest the fine and handed over the money to the Information Commissioner's Office, saying that continuing to appeal would mean revealing sensitive details about its security systems.

Sony continues to insist that the punishment was unjust, saying it still "disagreed with the decision on the merits."

While the amount of the fine will not prove too damaging to Sony, the detriment to its reputation was the basis behind its appeal attempts.

Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection David Smith commented: "[Sony] is a company that trades on its technical expertise, and there's no doubt in my mind that they had access to both the technical knowledge and the resources to keep this information safe."

Games industry improves security measures

Since the attack, Sony has reportedly taken steps to improve security and win back customer trust. In the wake of the hack, it apologised and offered free games for affected users. It has since continued to highlight efforts to make systems "safe, secure and resilient".

Hacks such as this have become a problem for the gaming industry, with Konami, Ubisoft and Nintendo all reporting similar, smaller scale attempts to breach their security systems.

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, said: "Gamers want to be able to trust that their personal information will be kept safe, particularly those involving bank details. Sony may have dropped this appeal, but the fact it spent so long battling the fine in the first place shows how significant the issue of privacy is to these gaming companies."