When Business and Personal Combine

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It used to be an easy call for the IT department when an employee’s BlackBerry was lost or stolen: If it contained sensitive information, technology teams at many companies had no qualms about remotely wiping all of the data on the device.

Today, however, there has been a flood of personal computing devices into the workplace, in the form of smartphones and tablet computers. Companies have begun installing their email, calendars and apps on devices that often already contain an employee’s family photos, music and emails.

This vast co-mingling of personal and company data has raised questions as to where responsibility for the security of the devices ultimately lies. And it puts the IT department in a new and ticklish situation, should a data breach be feared, because now a remote wipe of the device can delete an employee’s personal data as well.

Sony Charts Network’s Recovery With ‘Uncharted’

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Sony Corp. is preparing to release its first major game for the PlayStation Network online gaming service since hackers broke in and stole account information from millions of users earlier this year.

The game’s release marks a milestone for the Japanese electronics giant in its ongoing recovery from the hacking attacks that occurred in mid-April, which compromised the personal information of roughly 77 million accounts in the system.

Sony voluntarily shut down its network for roughly a month, slowly bringing back different levels of functionality over time. The company said 94% of preoutage activity returned immediately, and that it hit 100% over the summer. The company says it has also added 3 million accounts since the outage.

Beyond the Password

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One day five months ago, Karim Hijazi saw an unusual sight while reading his work email. A message that had been marked as “read” was suddenly marked “unread.”

What the founder of Unveillance, a computer-network security firm, soon learned was that hackers had broken into his account.

The hackers gained access to his email by stealing log-in information from an insecure website, which they then matched up with a password they found on the Internet. After downloading all of his emails, the hackers sent Mr. Hijazi a message demanding he share sensitive security information with them. When he refused, the hackers released his emails on the Web.

“It was like a baby with a gun,” he says.

The Play by Play On Sony’s Massive Data Breach

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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

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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

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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.

Hacker Raids Sony Videogame Network

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A hacker stole the names, birth dates and possibly credit-card numbers for 77 million people who play online videogames through Sony Corp.’s PlayStation console, in what could rank among the biggest data breaches in history.

Sony, whose gaming network has been offline for six days, disclosed Tuesday that an “illegal and unauthorized intrusion” between April 17 and April 19 resulted in the loss of a significant amount of personal information that could be used in identity theft.

The PlayStation Network is used by owners of the company’s game machine to play against one another, chat online and watch movies streamed over the Internet. Sony warned users the intruders may have accessed billing addresses, purchase histories and account information for their children.

Fueled by fast Internet connections, online-gaming services have become global social hubs for tens of millions of people who spend hours competing and cooperating on fantasy quests, combat missions and other activities. People across the globe pay monthly fees to play online-computer games like “World of Warcraft.” Most titles for the PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Corp. Xbox 360 have online components.