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Sony was hacked for 'trying to protect its property', CEO Stringer complains

Sony boss Sir Howard Stringer has said the company was targeted by hackers for trying to protect its intellectual property. Stringer was also asked to step down as CEO.

Sony boss Sir Howard Stringer has said his company was targeted by hackers because it tried to protect its intellectual property (IP), Reuters reports.

Stringer was asked to step down by a shareholder in the wake of the hacking crisis that saw Sony lose the personal details of over 100 million users of its PSN and Qriocity services, but the Welsh-born CEO ignored the call.

When asked about the background to the massive data theft, he said:, "We believe that we first became the subject of attack because we tried to protect our IP, our content, in this case videogames."

Sony lost kudos with the gaming community when it sued 21-year-old hacker George Hotz -- aka geohot -- who successfully hacked the PlayStation 3, allowing anyone to play homebrew games on the console, and generally mess about with its innards in a way that Sony found unpalatable.

Stringer may be right in suggesting the hacking community took exception to one of of its own being threatened with the full weight of the megacorp's mighty legal arm. He also mentioned that companies other than Sony were the victims of digital japery, saying, "I think you see that cyber terrorism is now a global force, affecting many more companies than just Sony.

"If hackers can hack Citibank, the FBI and the CIA, and yesterday the video game company Electronic Arts, then it's a negative situation that governments may have to resolve."

Stringer was asked to step down as CEO so that Sony could make a fresh start, but didn't respond directly to the request, so it doesn't look like he plans on leaving any time soon.

What do you think? Did Sony deserve to be punished for picking on the little guy? Should hackers such as LulzSec, who purported to highlight vulnerabilities, be tarred with the same brush as the criminal operation that took Sony customers' credit card details? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, or on our Facebook page