Hackers Allegedly Steal Sony's Archive Of 50k+ Michael Jackson Tracks

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.