* Sony spent lavishly on security for its own data-lawsuit
* New proposed class action filed this week
* Sony faces dozens of lawsuits over massive data breach
By Dan Levine
NEW YORK, June 23 Sony Corp laid off employees
in a unit responsible for network security two weeks before a
massive data breach, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
Sony (6758.T) (SNE.N) also spent lavishly on security to
protect its own corporate information, while failing to do the
same for its customers' data, the proposed class action lawsuit
Sony has been under fire since April, after hackers
accessed personal information on 77 million PlayStation Network
and Qriocity accounts, 90 percent of which are users in North
America or Europe.
The company said at the time credit card information may
have been stolen, sparking lawsuits and casting a shadow over
its plans to combine content and hardware products via online
Sony later revealed hackers had stolen data from 25 million
users of a separate system, its Sony Online Entertainment PC
games network, in a breach discovered on May 2.
In a lawsuit filed in a San Diego federal court on Monday,
a proposed class of Sony customers says the company knew it was
at increased risk of attack because it had experienced prior,
A Sony representative did not immediately respond to a
request for comment on Thursday.
Additionally, Sony laid off "a substantial percentage" of
its Sony Online Entertainment workforce, including "a number"
of employees in its Network Operations Center, says the
lawsuit, which cites a confidential witness.
The Network Operations Center is responsible for preparing
for, and responding to, security breaches, the lawsuit said.
Sony installed appropriate firewalls and other security
measures to protect its own sensitive data, but chose not to do
the same for customer data, the lawsuit said.
The security breach is one of the latest cyber attacks
against high-profile firms, including defense contractor
Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) and Google Inc (GOOG.O).
The case in U.S. District Court, Southern District of
California is Felix Cortorreal, Jacques Daoud Jr. and Jimmy
Cortorreal, on Behalf of Themselves and All Others Similarly
Situated v. Sony Corporation Inc. et al, 11-1369.
(Reporting by Dan Levine, editing by Bernard Orr)