Sony ‘stuck in 1992’ after massive hacks – except for Macs, iPads and iPhones

“It’s been different for everyone,” she said. She was upbeat, optimistic, even after finding out her bank account information had been traded on a black market website. She was worried her identity had also leaked. She imagined her private information on some forum somewhere and shuddered. She had a right to be concerned,” John Biggs reports for TechCrunch. “She works for Sony Pictures. She said she’s now working in an office on lock-down, a throw-back to an earlier time when the Internet wasn’t around. ‘We are stuck in 1992 over here,’ she said.”

“That is what a major corporate security breach sounds like: the squeal of a fax machine and the low murmur of co-workers now required to talk to each other instead of depending on email or instant messages,” Biggs reports. “Unfortunately, some internal systems weren’t quite up to snuff in the first place, leading to more problems. Our source recalls seeing computers that hadn’t been back up in a decade. That means they are still running old, potentially insecure software on old hardware. ‘A lot of people aren’t tech-savvy in this business,’ she said.”

“All is not lost,” Biggs reports. “‘We’re mostly a fully-functioning office. We’re going about or daily business. We just got our voicemail back. Everyone is a little calmer now after the initial shock. A couple of people had their computers removed but people using Macs were fine,’ she said. She said most work is done on iPads and iPhones. An emergency email system is in place but it does not allow attachments… She was quiet a moment. She had to go. After all, she was talking to me on her only office machine, her personal iPhone. And she had work to do.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, wonder what type of computers they were using that got hacked to bits?

[Attribution: 9to5Mac. Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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53 Comments

    1. Your having a private interview with Windows? We want you to take them out.
      Take them out to lunch?
      No, take them out.
      Take them out to dinner and a movie?
      No . . . take them out.
      Oh, take them out to an online shopping spree and a visit to my online bank?
      No, TAKE-THEM-OUT!

    1. Not really. Sony and Apple have similar outlooks in many ways. It’s unfortunate that Sony is hobbled with running windows, but their design teams are pretty decent.

      Steve liked Sony for a reason.

          1. Yeah Steve Jobs was in many ways Apple, but Steve had the foresight to instill in his troops proper instruction & philosophy in the ways of tech design and ecosystem after he was gone. The posthumous results at Apple speak for themselves.

            1. Wonder what would have happened if Sony had taken up the offer of cooperation even making computers together as SJ suggested. Sony didn’t think Apple was Influential big or important enough for them to ally with. How things change.

      1. Kodak issn’t really like Sony. Kodak excelled in a business that simply died due to technological improvements (digital cameras). Much like horse carriage builders after Henry Ford mass produced the automobile — still made a great product, but everyone moved on to something better.

        1. Kodak’s problem was not the digital camera, it was the smartphone. Kodak invented the digital camera, and understood it more than people think. Kodak was mostly a consumer camera company. When digital cameras became affordable they jumped in the market and was inventive with software and hardware that made prints from digital. They revised their strategy quickly in the early 00’s when they saw digital expanding faster than they expected.

          Then came the iPhone. A phone that was easy to take a picture with, had screen large enough to show the photo to others, and easily downloaded to a computer. There was nothing like this before. Than Apple started allowing 3rd party apps and a lot of photo editing apps came out. Of course Android copied the idea and very quickly most of Kodak’s market had a camera in their pocket. People could easily share their photo so the print business all but died. Kodak could build a camera with better specks, but not with editing software and several ways to share. Kodak invented the consumer camera and made their money off what it took to make a photograph. Digital cameras did not kill the actual photograph, iPhones did.

        2. I worked for a branch of Kodak quite some time ago. They had plenty of warning, but they resisted new technology and kept engineers working on their old outdated systems. Kodak could still be a strong company if they’d realized that times change and you can’t protect an obsolete business model. It was management by head-in-the-sand.

        3. My perspective is of someone working inside Kodak when all of this was going down. I worked with professional imaging film and moved over to working with professional digital photography software. I got to watch ‘Marketing-As-Management’ first hand, thus my obsession with the subject.

          The Kodak corrosion problem involved a lot of factors. One of them clearly was the idiotic marketing inertia of depending on the great old cash cow of film, even when the future was screaming bloody murder at them from WITHIN Kodak. The company literally owned the original digital sensor technology. But what they did with it, thanks to Marketing-As-Management was fritter it away. Like idiots, Kodak shoved all their knowledge about camera design and manufacture walk out their doors into early retirement. The same happened with a lot of their professional imaging technology. They had to scramble and bumble around for years to fill the voids they themselves had created inside the company.

          I moved over to working with digital imaging because I had the talent as well as half-a-brain in my head to know the future, despite my having years of film photography study on my resumé. Once I was there, I realized just how poorly the company was being run whereby their digital imaging division was treated with distain, hyperbolic pressure, chaotic direction and short-sightedness.

          The tales I can tell. I’ll stop there, until we get a contract to write the book…

            1. There are far better critical thinkers than myself. But I try. I’ve also had some terrific mentors along the way. Give a bow Hannagh! That’s a whole chapter of my never-to-be-written autobiography, a tale to be told to put hyper kids to sleep at night. zzzzz

              [I actually did that once. I attacked them with a set of Ambrose Bierce ‘fractured fairytales’ he called ‘Fantastic Fables’. Despite thunder, lightning (look, I spelled it right!) and a stream of rainwater running down the middle of our our lean-to, I knocked them right out until morning! Attention parents.]

            2. Never-to-be-written by you perhaps, but this great world abounds with fresh energy inspired by Homeric epics such as yours, to fuel future Iliads to inform generations yet to come of the battles waged by such as you to make the universe safe from idiocy.

      2. The sad thing is that Kodak invented the digital camera. They failed to capitalize on that invention. Although, in their defense, they were way ahead of the market, at least the consumer market.

    1. Arrogance of the King of the Mountain.

      They trusted their boiling oil of Microsoft OS versions to defeat the hordes armed with crossbows & catapults, because they didn’t want to “spend the money” and have to admit to the King they didn’t know what they were doing.

      1. I don’t know that I would call it arrogance. We humans seem to have a problem believing we need to act to prevent something before it happens. Rather, we wait for a catastrophe to occur, then we decide we must do something.

        I doubt Sony is very different from most corporations — it has a competent IT department in place, reasonable security measures, etc. I mean, who would have thought Sony would be a big target for hackers? They’re not an obvious target like a government agency, bank, or retailer like Target.

        Now throw in the fact that Sony appears to have been hacked by a concerted effort from a government, North Korea, which was pissed about their film. I don’t know that there really would have been enough security, firewalls, two-password protection systems, etc. to prevent North Korea from breaching Sony’s security. If Kim Jung Un ordered them to hack into Sony at all costs, it was going to happen.

          1. Well, I looked the word up. (Better late than never.)

            Doofus is a real dictionary word, and the correct plural is doofuses.

            Doofi can be intentionally used incorrectly for humor.

            So… I stand corrected! :-0

    1. in my office I use mac ( I’m in design ) and the rest use Dell. They have nothing but problems, but are afraid they won’t understand how to use Apple. I bet its similar situation

  1. Surprised that Sony used/approved an actual sitting dictator as the focal point of the assassination..

    They easily could have changed the name/nation and the movie would not have drew the hacks.

    Granted it’s a “comedy” but still..

  2. Where are all the self righteous IT Dufusses NOW!? What GREAT recommendations those arrogant A-HOLES gave you. BOY OH BOY!!! did you save LOADS OF CASH$$$$$ buying those Windoze Licensees running those Visios. Just ponder arrogant greed mongers….. Did you make the right decisions when it came to procuring said technology? Answer: YOU CHOSE POORLY. Corporate, Arrogant, STUPIDITY. Sleep tight SONY. You best start ripping EVERY WinBlows PC outta there because your entire network is infected and there ain’t NO WAY you can fix it other than PULLING THE PLUG on everything WinDOH!! Good fckn’ LUCK.

      1. MAN! SONY is truly in a world of hurt. NO amount of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ is going to fix their problem.
        I have yet to peruse the mainline media feeds for “THE MAIN REASON” this happened. MicroSloth, with their, OH SO omnipotent WindBlows OS is the root cause of these security breaches. Along with said Corporate, Arrogant, STUPIDITY. RUN quick! IT Duffusses… RUN! go get that patch and fix it….. stick your little finger in the dike… you MORONS!

  3. √ Killing email attachments – Can’t send around malware.
    √ Don’t use Windows boxes – Malware magnets disconnected.
    √ Stay off the Internet – 1994 (to be precise) but helps.
    √ Kill the LAN – Again, can’t send around malware

    But using Macs: Fine for NO infections (but there are active Mac malware around!). BUT! Macs can be malware carriers. I found a bunch of Windows malware crap stuck in spam this past week! So be careful!

    Helpful for this situation is the donationware ClamXav, which I highly recommend. Get the better enabled version directly from the developer, Mark Allan. It includes Sentry, which is a real time scanner of designated drive folders, such as your Mail or Downloads. And it doesn’t hog your CPU. Donationware worth the donation:

    http://www.clamxav.com

    [Disclaimer: I do not work for or receive compensation for promoting ClamXav but I am net friends with Mark Allan.]

    BTW: What sharp and nasty irony for Sony, manufacturers of the VAIO computer line, that they can’t safely use Windows gear at their own offices. Slap slap!

      1. I entirely agree. But considering the level of comprehension of these people at Sony, why would they say ‘1992’? The ‘Internet’ became a public phenomenon with the arrival of Netscape, the first humane web browser, in 1995. Or so say I.

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