Sony agrees to security breach fine

Sony has decided it will no longer appeal against a £250,000 fine imposed in the UK after its PlayStation Network was hacked back in 2011.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) ordered the company to pay the fine, after it established that adequate measures had not been taken to protect users' data.

The personal information of millions of British PlayStation users was leaked – such as their names, addresses and account passwords – after hackers infiltrated the systems.

Sony noted that although it did not agree with the financial penalty, it would no longer be trying to block the fine.

A spokesperson for the company told the BBC: "This decision reflects our commitment to protect the confidentiality of our network security from disclosures in the course of the proceeding.

"We continue to disagree with the decision on the merits."

The ICO ordered the fine in January this year after it found that the attack could have been prevented if security software had been up to date.

Technical developments that had been undertaken by Sony also meant that passwords were not secure, showing the need for penetration testing at even the biggest of companies.

"There's no disguising that this is a business that should have known better," said David Smith, deputy commissioner and director of data protection.

He stressed that any company that is responsible for such a large amount of personal and financial information needs to make sure that data protection is their utmost priority.

The ICO also identified that Sony should have had the technical knowledge and expertise to prevent an incident such as this occurring, as well as keep people's information safe and secure.

The case was described as "one of the most serious" ever reported to the ICO.

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