Five movies -- four of them unreleased -- were leaked along with 11 terabytes of personal data, including executive salaries, release schedules, employee criminal background checks, and passwords (kept securely in a directory titled "passwords"). The company's entire network had to be shut down and employees couldn't even use their computers or laptops for more than a week.
The irony of the Sony Pictures situation is that their leaky security was exposed three years ago by two Arizona men in concert with LulzSec leader-turned-stoolie Sabu, a.k.a. Hector Xavier Monsegur. The group released names, e-mails, and passwords of 75,000 people.
Raynaldo Rivera, 20, and Cody Kretsinger, 24, were convicted last year, sent to prison for 12 months, and ordered to pay $605,663.67 in restitution to cover Sony's associated costs, including a full security overhaul that doesn't appear worth the money spent.
The Sony Pictures mishap is only the latest in a disquieting trend of high-profile computer incursions from Home Depot and Target to J.P. Morgan Chase to Apple's iCloud. Nearly everywhere we turn, our personal information, photos, and credit card information are getting compromised. In September, Home Depot revealed that a cyber attack in April had exposed more than 50 million customer credit cards and e-mail addresses.More »