Sony hefting cost of data theft

Hackers continue to sting Sony Corp. much like an aggressive swarm of hornets chasing larger prey. The company said Wednesday that email addresses and phone numbers, but not credit card information, of some 2,000 users of mobile phone venture Sony Ericsson Canada’s website had been compromised. This follows a series of cyber attacks that swiped personal data, including some non-U.S. banking and credit card account details, concerning a combined 100 million users of Sony’s PlayStation Network, Qriocity music and video streaming service and the Sony Online Entertainment gaming network.

The price of coping with data theft is quickly adding up for the company. Sony said in a statement Monday it estimated its costs associated with the spate of breaches to be about $170 million, or 14 billion yen, for its fiscal year ending March 2012. That includes security enhancements, legal costs, identity theft insurance services offered to affected customers and incentive offerings for customers such as free game time, music and videos.

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Fighting data theft on new fronts

Miller (Kroll Fraud Solutions photo)

Beneath the quiet hum of hard drives, the battle continues for control of digital treasure. Companies fight to protect data coveted by increasingly sophisticated information pirates. According to some experts, the war has entered a new phase of complexity.

Jeremiah Miller, director of operations for Kroll Fraud Solutions, said even small bits of data can be exploited by cyber thieves. Kroll Fraud Solutions, in Nashville, Tenn., is a provider of identity fraud solutions. “There are things you can do with a couple of pieces of information to build a more complete profile about somebody,” Miller said. That can include matching names to information left public on social networks such as Facebook, he said.

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Customers, we have a little problem

Warnings cascaded from a host of consumer companies on Monday alerting their customers to a third-party data breach that compromised names and e-mail addresses. While the companies said no sensitive details were gleaned from the leak, the matter points to an issue that may never be completely cured. Read more of this post

State of the Union-State of Innovation

A new rallying cry for federal investment in innovation rang across the nation Tuesday night, this time including IT and wireless infrastructure. Upgraded high-speed data access for more homes, businesses and schools is a novel promise. However, delivering such connectivity to the masses may not follow any politician’s timetable.

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