A hacker group has claimed it has attacked the Sony network and stolen more than one million passwords, email addresses and other information.
In April, hackers broke into Sony’s PlayStation Network and stole data from more than 77 million accounts. That attack was considered the biggest in internet history and led to Sony shutting down the PlayStation Network and other services for almost a month.
The company has estimated the data breach will result in a $170m (£104m) hit to its operating profit.
Since then, Sony’s networks have become targets for hackers and the company has confirmed at least four other break-ins prior to the claimed attack on Sony Pictures.
Lulz Security claims to be behind one of those attacks: an assault on Sony Music Japan.
The latest alleged attack will come as a blow to the Japanese firm, 24 hours after it announced the PlayStation Network would be fully restored in the US and Europe, and said it had beefed up its security systems.
‘Asking for it’
In a statement on Thursday, Lulz Security said it had hacked into a database that included unencrypted passwords as well as names, addresses and dates of birth of Sony customers.
"From a single injection, we accessed EVERYTHING," it said. "Why do you put such faith in a company that allows itself to become open to these simple attacks?"
"What’s worse is that every bit of data we took wasn’t encrypted. Sony stored over 1,000,000 passwords of its customers in plain text, which means it’s just a matter of taking it.
"This is disgraceful and insecure: they were asking for it."
The group also recently claimed responsibility for hacking the website of the PBS network and posting a fake story in protest at a news programme about WikiLeaks.
– BBC News
With the number of websites, blogs and portals growing every day, there is an overwhelming amount of news everyday, talking about data theft and websites that have been invaded by hackers and crackers. The latest news of this kind was the invasion of the popular blog Gawker Media, which resulted in the exposure of entire database of Gawker Media’s web properties.
Sensitive information has been exposed, including staff conversations, their private passwords used within the network and passwords also used by people who have registered to comment.
Thinking of a way to make web-browsing safer for users, Google added a new notification to its search system that alerts users about sites that may have been hacked or modified by unauthorized users.
How the notification works
Sites that possibly have been hacked or had its contents changed by unauthorized persons will show the message "This Site May Be Compromised" (This site may have been compromised), which can be seen just below the title displayed in Google search.
Clicking on top of that message, the user is redirected to security page of Google, more precisely to an article in the Help Center that explains more about the notice.
Meanwhile, If user choose to click on results, he’ll be redirected to the desired page, as expected. In some cases, a small warning is displayed, which will highlight the risk of continuing to the user.
Advising Webmaster & Developers
The new security mechanism from the search engine giant Google brings a lot of benefits to the website owners and developers. According to the Google, they are doing their best to contact the site’s webmaster, that were detected as suspicious or compromised via their Webmaster Tools account or any other contact email addresses which can be find on the webpage.
Google also provided a link to help the inexperienced webmasters who does not know how to proceed in case of cyber-attacks. Instructions can be accessed through the Help Center or through this link.
Still a lot of work to do
There are still a lot of things which Google has to work on, shore up and improve. The new Google tracking/notification service is not yet 100% operational, but the company is working as quickly as possible to make the new service fully functional, providing more security for users and site owners.