Sony BMG Greece hit by hacker

Database containing about 9,000 user records accessed, posted online; fourth recent attack on Sony sites

For the fourth time in about a month, hackers have broken into a Sony network.

In the latest intrusion, hackers hit the Web site of Sony BMG in Greece and pilfered a database containing the usernames, real names and email addresses of people who had registered with the site, according to security firm Sophos.

The stolen data was passed on to Hacker News, which posted a copy of it on PasteBin.com, Sophos said.,

Chester Wisniewski, senior security adviser at Sophos, today said that the intrusion was made possible by a SQL injection flaw that allowed the intruders to inject malicious code into the Greek Sony BMG site.

According to Wisniewski, the attacker appears to have used an automated SQL injection tool that searched for vulnerabilities in the site

"This looks like it was an old-school hacking," Wisniewski said. "It surprised me that Sony missed this one, considering how easy it was to find. This was not sophisticated at all."

The breach didn't require strong hacking skills, he added.

It was the third breach of a Sony system in recent days.

Last Thursday, Sony disclosed that an intruder has broken into So-net, a Japanese Sony ISP subsidiary, and stole about $1,200 worth of virtual tokens.

That same day, security firm F-Secure announced that it had discovered a phishing site being hosted on a Sony server in Thailand.

Those attacks were far smaller in scope than intrusions last month into Sony's PlayStation Network and Entertainment Online sites that compromised data on almost 100 million account holders.

The April attacks prompted Sony to shut down both networks for several days while its internal security team worked to fix the problems with the help of consultants from three external security firms.

The company restored limited service on both networks about 10 days ago. Sony has yet to fully restore all previously available functionality.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan, or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His email address is jvijayan@computerworld.com.

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