Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Sony lost $450M last year – paid Stringer $4.5M + stock options

Sony PlayStation gamers expressed shock and disappointment on Wednesday at a massive data hack in which their names, addresses and credit-card details might have been stolen from the PlayStation Network.

Shoppers at London video-games stores said they might leave the network, PSN, which allows them to play games with 77 million other members and buy games online, while some gamers writing in online forums called for a boycott of Sony products…

Sony warned earlier that unidentified hackers had stolen the personal details of its 77 million user accounts, in one of the biggest-ever Internet security break-ins.

The Japanese electronics giant advised users, almost 90 percent of whom are based in Europe and the United States, to change any common passwords they also used for other services.

It said children with accounts established by their parents might have had their data exposed.

“If you think the gamers are pissed over at playstation blog, wait until the Mums get wind of this,” wrote senior member barrybarryk on the PS3news.com online forum…

Sony pulled the plug on the network eight days ago but did not tell the public about the stolen data until Tuesday.

Consider that all the crap that’s happened at Sony from the closing of research centers to failed security to snooping on users has happened on Stringer’s watch.




  1. JimD says:

    NOTHING ON THE INTERNET IS SAFE !!! Put your Personal Info out there, and someone will STEAL IT !!! Most likely Google, Apple, or Microsoft or some other hackers !!! They are IN CONTROL, YOU ARE THE SHEEP TO BE SHORN !!!

  2. GregA says:

    #1,
    It would have been trivial for Sony to store the passwords in a one way hash instead of a plain text format. Additionally it is possible to store cc#s in a hash that only Sony sends to the credit card processors, that once again makes that data safe.

    Sony’s data protection policies look like they were put together by rank amateurs.

  3. AlanB says:

    Let’s see… Sony losses are 450 M and Stringer gets 4.5 M salary. So- Stringer receives 1 percent of losses as a salary. Doesn’t bode well for next year’s earnings.

  4. Benjamin says:

    I haven’t bought from Sony since they put the CD root-kit on everyone’s computers.

  5. Special Ed says:

    I haven’t copied a Sony CD since you could put the black magic marker around the rim and defeat the copy protection.

  6. sargasso_c says:

    The victims have due grievance, in my humble opinion.

  7. The_Tick says:

    When will companies learn to immediately release news like this. A shred of integrity can be saved if they were to immediately inform the public of the comprimise, but like stupid little children they delay the inevitable and show how truly little they care about your security. What do they gain by delaying? Is it just so the execs can dump stock first or what?

  8. Zybch is pissed off says:

    #2 Probably the same idiots that claimed the bluray disk DRM wouldn’t be cracked for 10 years, and the same idiots who used a single identical decryption key on every PS3 for copy protecting the games.
    What a bunch of idiots.
    Heres a bit from the aussie media.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2011/04/28/3201912.htm

  9. foobar says:

    Actually, under US and Canadian laws they must contact each person individually to inform them of the personal data theft. Not sure about other jurisdictions.

    Obviously I doubt that will happen.

  10. freddybobs68k says:

    Sony does it again!

    The list is getting pretty long – just off the top of my head.

    o The root-kit on music cds.
    o The ‘if you think the PS3 is expensive get another job’ comment
    o The retro-active removal of the unix feature.
    o The idiotic campaign against geo-hot
    o The claiming that ‘rumble’ was a last generation feature – only to have to re-add it because of gamer complaints (it turns out the real reason they left it out was Immersion had the patents)
    o Claiming all PS3s would have PS2 support. Doing it in hardware, doing a half arsed software emulation and then totally removing it.
    o Idiot claims of how ‘amazingly powerful’ the PS3 is (it’s a super computer!)
    o Arrogance of PS3 launch and subsequently going from first to last place.

    Sony’s basic strategy is one of platform lock in. They had huge success with CDs, and then DVDs (with help of PS2) lots of their later fiascos are trying to force you to a new platform lock in that they own. (MiniDisc, UMD, BluRay, DRM etc)

    They used to be innovators. They used to have great products. Now it’s all about lawyers, and squeezing money out of customers any way you can.

    Unfortunately for them that strategy isn’t working very well. Perhaps they should try the innovation/great product track again?

  11. Uncle Patso says:

    # 10 freddybobs68k said, in part:

    “Perhaps they should try the innovation/great product track again?”

    An extremely unlikely scenario, but not impossible. I was quite surprised when they chose a Western chief executive, but not surprised at all when the things you detailed subsequently came about.

    Perhaps they’ll come to their senses and get someone with a vision and some technical background back at the top (it seems to be working for Ford), but I doubt it. Since they became a movie studio, the Hollywood Virus seems to have infested the whole company.

  12. GregAllen says:

    Why aren’t there class action lawsuits against these crappolla companies that let our personal information get stolen?

    I know class action lawsuits aren’t great but they are the only tool we have against big corporations who don’t give two figs about us.

    Well, I should say the only tool we _HAD_.

    The activist conservative Supreme Court just denied us regular folk what little recourse we had against the big corporations.

    http://tinyurl.com/65z7x7v

  13. GregAllen says:

    freddybobs68k,

    I have more of a mixed feeling about Sony than you do.

    But that is because their products are so mixed.

    I used the MiniDisc for years. For a long time, it was the best thing going for recording. Not just me — I knew a number of professional musicians and journalists who used it as well. When I was working in radio, it was a standard tool.

    I just bought their Sony Reader — because it is the most open ebook reader of the big names. Unlike the Kindle, it takes all kinds of file file formats. MUCH better for my usage.

    I really enjoyed my original Play Station and had many great hours with it. (But I bought a gray market one overseas that had been hacked, I think.)

    My Sony Handicam Hi-8 was a fantastic workhorse that I used and abused for YEARS (and it still works.)

    I also just bought a cheapie Sony DVD player. It’s working great, so far!

    But,I also have purchased more than than a few lemon products from Sony. But I can’t honestly say Sony is worse than any other consumer brands — they all are failure prone.

  14. msbpodcast says:

    Meh. I gave up on Sony with the betamax debacle.

    There were several ways to handle the VHS VCR debacle.

    Sony took none of the right ones.

    Hence the product died…

    Recently they went after the DVD format. They won the format war and now BluRay is supposedly in, but the internet is making it a Phyrric one.

    Perhaps Sony should die too.

    They’ve been screwing thing up since Akio Morita (盛田 昭夫) died.

    Lets pull the plug…

  15. Rick says:

    Japanese corporations are no better than American ones. They’re greedy and shortsighted. Look at how well TEPCO did with its nuclear plants.

  16. Yankinwaoz says:

    Sony’s problem is the classic tail wagging the dog. Sony bought a Hollywood studio in order to get content for their consumer electronics. But somewhere along the line they starting letting their Hollywood people tell them how to run the company. They took their eye off the ball and now no one thinks of Sony for the best consumer electronics any more.

    Pretty much every boneheaded decision and mistake Sony has made in the the last 15 years was because of idiots in their Hollywood office. The paranoia about piracy, the rootkit, etc., etc.

    Stringer came that side of the house. I knew when they gave him the wheel that Sony was sunk. I was right.

  17. bbjester says:

    “When will companies learn to immediately release news like this. A shred of integrity can be saved if they were to immediately inform the public of the comprimise, but like stupid little children they delay the inevitable and show how truly little they care about your security. What do they gain by delaying? Is it just so the execs can dump stock first or what?”

    @ # 7

    Sadly this seems to be the policy at nuclear power plants too. Has happened every time so far. 3 Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Japan. In every one of those accidents the men in charge seemed to be in some sort of denial, and the public wasn’t even notified until it was damn near too late.

    I like to think of it as similar to potty training. Just like when you ask the little tyke if he/she has to go potty 50 freaking times and get told no each time. Then all of a sudden a few minutes later…BAM, the kid has a hot steamy load in his/her shorts.

  18. Grandpa says:

    Can’t describe the damage caused to me by the Sony rootkit virus. Every time I hear something like this it makes me smile…

  19. Glenn E. says:

    This is what happens when “they” allow one corporation to own too much. Sony is one huge entertainment industry. That dictates what “standards” will be used in recorded media. Blu-Ray is their baby. And it was leveraged into use, over DVD-HD, simply because they own a movie and Tv corporation too. The problem when something gets too big is, it doesn’t have to care about quality or safety any more. Because it’s competition (if any) is of minimal concern. Even if their competitors offer a better, safer product. In this case, “safer” meaning, more secure with your personal and financial data.

    Sony obviously didn’t care enough to protect personal and credit card information, in spite of international standards that say they should do so. Why? Because they’re too big to care. Just like the outfit who owns and runs Japan’s nuclear power plants. Too big and powerful to care what happens. Now, after the fact, all they do is apologize. That’s all they ever do. “We’re sorry. Now shut up, and let us get back to taking your money, under false pretenses.”

  20. Glenn E. says:

    You have to wonder if what any commercial entity has to do to get enough world wide condemnation, to kill it? And how far governments will go to protect them? Is Sony too big to fail? Today they lose 77 million credit card numbers. Tomorrow it could be biological weapons testing on political prisoners. Did you know that is was the German chemical giant IG Farben, that mainly produced the Zyklon B poison, used in the Jewish concentration camps, during WW2. After the war, three governing board members of American IG, were tried and convicted of war crimes. But apparently none of the German board members suffered. Hitler and WW2 wouldn’t have happened without big industry backing him.

    So how is it EVER a good idea to let one corporate entity control too much, and allow to ruin too many people’s lives, with their “anything to make a buck” attitude?

  21. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    Sony’s music label impeded the release of its MP3 player.

  22. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    #13 GregAllen – Had an old Windows 2000 computer with a CD burner & Nero software and the 2004 Sony DVD player model right below the one that can play Super Audio CDs, SACDs. The computer had some Windows Media videos that I wanted to transfer. The Nero software suggested making a Video CD, VCD. I hadn’t heard of this format that could put almost 74 minutes of VIDEO on a CD. I burned a disc, put it into the DVD player, and the front LED screen showed VCD – which I never saw before. The disc played perfectly. Sony was great in writing the “books” Red, White, etc. for the digital optical disc formats.


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