Playstation Network Hack Raises Concerns About Cloud Networking
The video game industry is among the most expanding branch of the electronic business today, with customer bases ranging from the stereotypical adolescent teen to the parents of these teens. Video gamers are becoming increasingly more interconnected through networks such as Xbox Live, and the Playstation Network. On these networks, gamers not only compete against each other, but can do many things not related to games, such as stream their instant queue from Netflix, download music using Rhapsody, and even update their Twitter and Facebook.
With these developments, consumers have put increasingly more personal information onto these networks in order to reap their benefits. One would think that a major industry giant such as Sony would be able to keep this information under padlock and key, but recent developments have shown that this may not be the case. In the month of April, hackers officially deemed by Sony as "anonymous" hacked into an estimated 100 million user accounts on the Playstation Network, obtaining street addresses, phone numbers, full names, and other personal information. Thankfully, most credit information was locked in a different network and was not reached, but the hackers still reached about 12,700 non-U.S. credit and debit accounts. Sony has stated that many of these numbers are outdated, but the company is still moving to notify affected customers "as quickly as possible".
This situation is incredibly disconcerting, and presents many possible legal ramifications against Sony. One has to wonder how much precaution Sony put into locking this personal information, given that the conglomerate is one of the largest electronic companies in the world. Through this, the question of negligence pops up. In the coming months, the true ramifications of this hack will be seen, as the information stolen from Sony will undoubtedly be sold off and subsequently used by its buyers. A possible use for this information is to assist in stealing people's identities, a crime that may have been assisted by Sony's lack of precaution in safely storing their customer's personal information. So, a rational thought for a customer finding his/her identity to be stolen after knowingly giving personal information to Sony may be to sue the computer giant for customer negligence. This presents a larger issue for Sony and its legal team, an opportunity for some lawyers, and exposes a problem that may have even more far-reaching ramifications.
Cloud Networking is an ever-growing method for businesses to store their information and contacts over the Internet. The Sony debacle has exposed these networks to be vulnerable, and has caused people to think that they have possibly put too much faith in corporate clouds. As a result, companies such as Safesforce.com, network software engineering company, have seen dips in stock prices, which had previously been among the highest performing stocks in the past year. Thus, the hack of Sony's Playstation network may be seen to have much more far-reaching ramifications than one would initially think, both legally and business-wise. As the situation shows, no network is impervious to hackers, representing an up and coming issue as our society moves into a state fueled by and reliant upon technology and networking.