Sony Hires Homeland Security Official to Prevent Attacks

Dennis Faas's picture

This past spring, Sony was hit by one of the most crushing hacker invasions in tech history. The hack, which penetrated Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN), acquired personal information associated with tens of millions of accounts, including stolen data included credit card information, addresses, and names.

In all, it's estimated that the online attack cost Sony $171 million dollars. (Source:

So, can hiring an official formerly tasked with preventing terrorism on U.S. soil help prevent devastating online attacks in the future? Sony, which just hired a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security official as chief information security officer, hopes so.

Fix, Apology for Breach Hit Sony Hard

It cost Sony hundreds of millions of dollars to close the breach and re-pay customers with a "welcome back" program that offered free games, including the popular title "Infamous". Nearly a month passed before PSN was operating close to its pre-attack state. Since the breach, Sony shares have plummeted, down as much as 55 per cent.

Given the extent of April's network attack, it's no surprise that Sony is taking great measures to prevent a repeat. One of the clearest examples of the tech firm's new attitude is its recent hiring of Philip Reitinger, former director of the U.S. National Cyber Security Center. (Source:

Reitinger Brings Loads of Experience

The Japanese electronics giant is being pretty up-front about what the appointment means.

"Certainly the network issue was a catalyst for the appointment," said a Sony spokesperson. "We are looking to bolster our network security even further."

Reitinger is a highly qualified security expert, having worked for both Microsoft and the United States Department of Defense. His education includes a computer science undergraduate degree and a Yale law degree.

Sony says he will be based in Washington, which seems appropriate given the media weight of his appointment. (Source:

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