June 3 2011
The data was apparently stolen from Sony Pictures, the company’s entertainment distribution arm.
In a message on Twitter, the group said: “1,000,000+ unencrypted users, unencrypted admin accounts, government and military passwords saved in plaintext. #PSN compromised. @Sony.”
A longer statement posted on the posted on the pastebin.com website explained the action, saying: “Greetings folks. We’re LulzSec, and welcome to Sownage. Enclosed you will find various collections of data stolen from internal Sony networks and websites, all of which we accessed easily and without the need for outside support or money.
“We recently broke into SonyPictures.com and compromised over 1,000,000 users’ personal information, including passwords, email addresses, home addresses, dates of birth, and all Sony opt-in data associated with their accounts.
“Among other things, we also compromised all admin details of Sony Pictures (including passwords) along with 75,000 “music codes” and 3.5 million “music coupons”.”
The group said they had been unable to copy all the information due to a lack of resources but pasted samples online.
The statement added: “Our goal here is not to come across as master hackers [ ... but] Why do you put such faith in a company that allows itself to become open to these simple attacks?”
The group said Sony’s security systems were “disgraceful and insecure: they were asking for it”. They said that the data was not encrypted, which would have made their task harder, adding: “This is an embarrassment to Sony.”
The latest hack comes just over a month after Sony’s enormous PlayStation Network was attacked. In that incident the data of about 70m customers was stolen, in what is thought to have been the largest hack in history.
The network has only come back online in recent weeks, with the cost of the fallout estimated at more than £900m.
LulzSec’s claims come at a painful time for Sony – the firm’s executives are currently attempting to reassure the US authorities about their efforts to safeguard the company’s computer networks.
Cyber security has been in the headlines in recent weeks.
Chinese spies reportedly had months of access to the personal Google emails of senior US officials and human rights activists.
Sony was contacted but was not available for comment.