The Play by Play On Sony’s Massive Data Breach

Standard

On a Tuesday afternoon last month, engineers working for Sony Corp. were baffled when several servers running the company’s PlayStation Network suddenly turned themselves off and then back on.

At the time, the unexpected rebooting seemed like an odd malfunction. The next day, however, the engineers found the first evidence that an intruder had penetrated Sony’s systems, prompting the Japanese company to take what it calls “the almost unprecedented step” of shutting down the popular online gaming network.

Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer issued a public apology this week for what the company later disclosed was a data breach that compromised more than 100 million user accounts on three public networks, and a delay in informing users of the theft. Sony says the loss included users’ names, birthdates and passwords. It also hasn’t ruled out the loss of credit card numbers associated with the Sony PlayStation network.

Sony Brings In High-Tech Sleuths

Standard

New details emerged about Sony Corp.’s investigation into one of the biggest data breaches in history, as the company attempts to piece together who stole personal information from more than 100 million accounts on its online game networks.

At least some of the attacks came from a Malaysia-based server, a person familiar with the matter said, though it wasn’t clear if any of the hacking was actually done from there, or whether only the server there was used.

Sony Faces Suits Over PlayStation Breach

Standard

Plaintiffs lawyers are targeting Sony Corp. with class-action suits after a breach of the company’s online-game network compromised the personal information of millions of users.

In one lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court’s Northern District of California, videogame player Kristopher Johns said Sony’s security was negligently poor and the company failed to encrypt personal information.

Apple Sues Samsung Electronics Over ‘Galaxy’ Phone, Tab

Standard

Apple Inc. filed a lawsuit claiming Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. copied the look and feel of its popular iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers, the latest in a series of legal skirmishes that underscore the increasingly high stakes of the mobile computing market.

The lawsuit, filed on April 15, alleged that Samsung’s smartphones, including the “Galaxy S 4G,” “Epic 4G,” “Nexus S” and its “Galaxy Tab” touchscreen tablet, violate Apple’s intellectual property. The 38-page lawsuit was filed in the U.S. court’s northern California district.

“Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” Apple said in the filing.

Apple, Microsoft Hire Linguists in App Feud

Standard

Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. have both hired linguists to serve as experts in the tech titan’s ongoing battle over whether or not the government can grant a trademark for the term “app store.”

Microsoft on Tuesday filed its latest argument with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which included the opinions of a linguistic expert who supported the software giant’s argument that the term “app store” was generic and shouldn’t be trademarked by Apple.

“The compound noun app store means simply ‘store at which apps are offered for sale,’ which is merely a definition of the thing itself—a generic characterization,” linguist Ronald Butters wrote.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.