Gates scholar comments on Playstation hack

  • April 28, 2011
Gates scholar comments on Playstation hack

Joseph Bonneau calls for change to law on online security.

Online security expert Joseph Bonneau [2008] has called for new legislation to make companies who lose online passwords liable for any resulting harm in the light of the huge data theft of Sony Playstation users’ details.

Joseph, a Gates scholar and former chair of the Gates Scholars Council, told the Telegraph that statements from Sony suggest that the company failed to encrypt users’ personal data, which would have rendered it unusable by hackers. “Sony bears no legal responsibility and it shows,” he stated.

Sony has admitted files of 77 million names, addresses, email addresses, birth dates, passwords and usernames have been stolen by hackers. It fears credit card details may also have been stolen.

Joseph, who is doing a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, said studies showed up to 50 per cent of passwords were reused elsewhere online because people use the same passwords for different sites. “So even if the hackers didn’t get the credit cards they might be able to access your online banking service using the data they did manage to steal,” he told The Telegraph.

Picture credit: Salvatore Vuono and www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

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