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Summary:

Sony (NYSE: SNE) is facing yet another major security breach. Hackers reportedly illegally downloaded over Michael Jackson’s entire back cat…

Michael Jackson
photo: AP Images

Sony (NYSE: SNE) is facing yet another major security breach. Hackers reportedly illegally downloaded over Michael Jackson’s entire back catalog, consisting of 50,000 tracks, many never released. Sony purchased the catalog from Jackson’s estate for $250 (£157.51) million last year.

The attack itself appears to have taken last spring, around the same time that Sony’s PlayStation Network network was hacked and 77 million users’ data stolen.

W.E.N.N. reports, “The attack was discovered weeks after hackers targeted Sony’s PlayStation Network in April, but was only confirmed by a Sony Music representative on Saturday.The UK’s Daily Star reports, “Record bosses only discovered the theft of 50,000 music files when a worker saw Jackson fans chatting about it on forums.” The Guardian says “two men who were arrested last May appeared in court in the UK accused of offenses in connection with the alleged security breach” on Friday.

It is also unclear how much, if any, of the MJ archive — which includes many unreleased tracks including a collaboration with will.i.am — has leaked out onto the Internet. W.E.N.N. says Sony “identified the weakness and plugged the gap” at the time the breach was discovered.

It is the latest in a string of security breaches at Sony. In addition to the April 2011 attack, in October, hackers again broke into 93,000 PlayStation accounts.

Sony reported a $2.03 (£1.28) billion net loss in its most recent earnings report, and Kazuo Hirai replaced Howard Stringer as president and CEO at the beginning of this year.

  1. Dear, oh dear. Just when Sony thought the worst was over . . .

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  2. I call bullshit. MJ probably had 500 tracks total. No way he had 50K tracks.

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    1. There could be a lot of recorded live performances, small soundbites and such in there.

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    2. Bullshit on who?  I read it twice and can’t figure out exactly what was stolen, but Captain Obvious just told me it probably wasn’t 50,000 songs.  It doesn’t matter though, because whatever it was is basically just a “free bonus download” Sony received with their $250 million purchase.  The stuff worth the real dough isn’t sitting on a server, it’s sitting in a vault (analog-style).  Let’s keep this just between you, me, and the fencepost though because we might spoil things for Sony by talking–  there’s the insurance and tax angles, of course, but don’t forget that same whatever-you-say-poor-victim dollar figure will be used by the Feds to make sure the downloading evil-doers will do more time in prison than your average gun-toting serial bank robber.

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  3. its not stealing mickeal jackson is dead anyway so nobody owns his music.

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  4. Michael was in the business for almost 50 years. He made over 100 songs for each and every album along with the live performances, different takes of each song, etc he could very well have close to 50k. And yes, Sony OWNS the library, Michael just worked for them.

    I’m thinking maybe the authorities should look at Vladimir here as a starting point.

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    1. You’re probably right.  Vladimir, being the criminal mastermind that he is, misspelled one of the most recognizable names on the planet in order to divert attention away from himself.  Well done, Mr. Chertok, well done.

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  5. Prolonged, Painful, Public, Punishment Preferred for Presumptuous, Pompous, Premeditating HACKERS. Just because there’s no blood, doesn’t mean people aren’t destroyed.

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