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Sony reports another online security breach

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 8:06pm
YURI KAGEYAMA - AP Business Writer - Associated Press

Sony has suffered another online security breach, this time for 2,000 customers of its Sony Ericsson joint venture in Canada, the latest in a series of hacker attacks against the electronics and entertainment company.

Sony Corp. spokesman Atsuo Omagari said Wednesday that names, e-mail and encrypted passwords may have been stolen from the Sony Ericsson Canada website, but no credit card information was taken.

There have been no reports of damage from the security breach, discovered Tuesday, and the server has been shut down, he said. An investigation was under way, and other details were not immediately available.

Sony Ericsson is a mobile phone maker that is a joint venture between L.M. Ericsson of Sweden and Sony.

More than 100 million online accounts are affected in a suspected hacking of Sony's PlayStation Network gaming service and other online services that began last month, tarnishing the brand behind the Walkman portable music player and Vaio personal computer.

On Tuesday, Sony said it found a security breach affecting 8,500 user accounts in a music entertainment website in Greece, involving names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Tokyo-based Sony has been battling production delays and sales losses after supplier factories were damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

On Monday, it lowered its earnings projection for the fiscal year ended March to a 260 billion yen ($3.2 billion) loss, its third straight year of red ink, largely because of a charge it must take related to damages from the March disaster. It had initially expected to return to profit.

Sony is expecting costs related to its online security woes of 14 billion yen ($173 million), covering customer support, freebie packages, legal costs, lower sales and measures to beef up security.

Sony's TV business is likely to have stayed in the red for the seventh year straight for the fiscal year ended March. Sony reports earnings Thursday. Sony fell behind rivals in TVs when consumers began switching to flat-panel televisions.

Sony stock lost nearly 2 percent in morning trading on the Tokyo stock market to 2,227 yen ($27).

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