Bloomberg News

Sony, Nintendo Say Attacks Didn’t Expose Customer Information

June 06, 2011

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Sony Corp., already targeted by hacker intrusions that exposed more than 100 million customer accounts, said a new breach in Europe didn’t compromise user data, while rival Nintendo Co. said a server was attacked.

No protected data was accessed during the attack on Sony’s European website that was discovered yesterday, said Atsuo Omagari, a company spokesman. Nintendo, the world’s largest maker of handheld video-game players, said the server attacked May 16 didn’t contain consumer information.

Shares of Sony fell, extending declines this year amid breaches that the Tokyo-based company has estimated may cost about 14 billion yen ($173 million). The widening of attacks to include Nintendo shows large companies doing business internationally are especially at risk, said Yusuke Tsunoda, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Securities Co. in Tokyo

“Nintendo and Sony are big, global names,” Tsunoda, who rates Nintendo’s shares “neutral,” said in a phone interview today. “Companies with international ambitions need to be aware of these risks. This applies not just to game makers.”

A group called LulzSec posted data on the Internet that it said was a “server configuration file,” or data for programming purposes, from a Nintendo server, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The group previously said it broke into a Sony website and downloaded information from 1 million customer accounts.

‘Server Configuration Issue’

“This particular situation was a server configuration issue that we investigated and resolved a few weeks ago,” the U.S. unit of Kyoto, Japan-based Nintendo said in a statement e- mailed to Bloomberg News yesterday. “The server contained no consumer information.”

Ken Toyoda, a spokesman for Nintendo in Kyoto, declined to comment today on the source of the attack or to elaborate on any measures the company is taking in response.

“There has been no significant damage to Nintendo or to our customers,” Toyoda said in a phone interview.

Sony said the latest intrusion only accessed information that was available publicly.

Sony fell 3.2 percent to 2,062 yen at the 3 p.m. close of trading in Tokyo, extending its share-price decline this year to 30 percent. Nintendo dropped 1.6 percent to 17,910 yen in Osaka, while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 1.2 percent.

Strengthening Protection

Nintendo plans to introduce an online shopping service this week for game titles for its 3DS handheld player, it said June 2. The company probably won’t lose business as a result of the attack on its server, said Tomoaki Kawasaki, an analyst at Cosmo Securities Co. in Tokyo.

“Game makers will have to focus more on strengthening protection of their client information,” Kawasaki, who has a “neutral” rating on Nintendo’s shares, said in a phone interview today.

LulzSec posted statements online earlier this month saying it broke into the website of Sony’s film unit and downloaded personal information including passwords, e-mail addresses and dates of birth from user accounts. Sony is investigating whether customer information was compromised during that intrusion, Mami Imada, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman, said by phone today.

Sony resumed full operation last week of the PlayStation Network in the U.S. and Europe after suspending it for six weeks because of hacker attacks.

--With assistance from Cliff Edwards in San Francisco and Yuki Yamaguchi in Tokyo. Editors: Terje Langeland, Michael Tighe

To contact the reporters on this story: Mariko Yasu in Tokyo at myasu@bloomberg.net; Yoshinori Eki in Tokyo at yeki@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net


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