back to article Sony mulls hacker bounty offer

Sony execs are mulling the possibility of offering bounties for any information that leads to the arrests of hackers who breached its network. The unspecified reward might be only offered by Sony through the FBI in a bid to tease out information on a security breach that affected as many as 100 million customers, All Things …


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  1. Steen Hive
    Thumb Up

    He's Brian!

    His wife's Brian as well!

  2. olems
    Thumb Up

    Best sentence ever

    "The hack attack against Sony followed days after denial of service attacks against the members of Anonymous in protest against Sony's legal action against PlayStation modders."

  3. Dan Beshear

    Keep poking that badger, Sony

    It's never smart to keep taunting those who've already kicked your sorry butt once and publicly.

    Instead of hinting at bounties, you would be better served in HIRING the preps instead. At least THEY knew where the security holes were, and probably still are, plus a few they HAD NOT YET discuss with the rest of the legion.

    Just because they're made of badger paws doesn't mean they can't still slice you open if you're stupid enough to play with them.

  4. mark 63 Silver badge

    wild west style

    is this gonna be "dead or Alive" situation?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Another day

    another baseless rumour...

    I remember the good old days when this site used to post NEWS>.....

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge


      This site is reporting the latest in Sony grabbing at straws/shutting stable doors etc.

      Sony have proved they don't have a clue, we are grateful that we keep discovering how much they balance security with profits.

    2. Dante


      you forgot to add some random dig at XBox in your post.

      1. ArmanX

        No, more likely to be Apple on this site.

        Or Google. Even Microsoft, but the OS division, not the XBox division.

    3. sisk Silver badge


      I suspect that if this was a member of Anonymous pulling a smash and grab that they'll go to court without the backing of the legion. Anonymous is all for freedom of speech and protecting consumer rights. I highly doubt that they'll be quick to defend the theft of personal and financial data just because it happened to be done by one of their own. It just doesn't mesh with what they seem to stand for.

      Then again they may prove me wrong, in which case I'll loose what little respect I have for them (I usually agree with thier ends, but have major issues with their means).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nah

        "I suspect that if this was a member of Anonymous pulling a smash and grab that they'll go to court without the backing of the legion. Anonymous is all for freedom of speech and protecting consumer rights. I highly doubt that they'll be quick to defend the theft of personal and financial data just because it happened to be done by one of their own. It just doesn't mesh with what they seem to stand for."

        Some caveats here first of all: I have nothing to do with any Anonymous-type stuff, so any secret handshake stuff is completely out of my realm. But you're talking about Anonymous as if everyone has membership cards which entitle people to the secret clubhouse or whatever. In fact, there's no evidence to suggest that Anonymous is anything more than just a convenient label to put on a bunch of people who like doing dodgy/daring/legal/illegal stuff and have joined up, perhaps through some well-trafficked forum, perhaps through other means, to go and do it.

        That's the problem with the modern media and corporate mindsets. I'm surprised that there weren't reports of the CIA checking Bin Laden's wallet for his special Al Qaida discount card. "Oh noes, it's missing: it isn't him after all!" And such nonsense.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Re: Nah @ AC 17:24

          Felt I needed to say something as I seriously cant believe someone down-voted your post...

          Widowed USA, GSOH, N/S, likes torture, puppet regimes, advancing corporate interests, seeks new easygoing bogeyman for friendship, torturous fun, suppressing own people & maybe more.

          I agree, depressingly familiar.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        Anonymous doesn't have members, just individual losers who pretend to be part of a larger group.

    4. Crofty616
      Dead Vulture

      Beat me to it

      That really was a "wait....what???" moment when I read it lol.

    5. Dan Beshear

      To the Sony apologists

      Keep giving me those Thumbs Down, Sony Suck-ups. It won't change the fact that Sony is too stupid to operate a sharp stick.

    6. Dylan Fahey
      Paris Hilton

      I see a "HEADSHOT"

      I see a "HEADSHOT"

      For Paris, Did someone say, BOOTY BOUNTY ?

    7. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      You just *DON'T* get it, do you, Sony?


    8. Anonymous Coward

      Can I collect my money now?

      IP addresses and IRC logs of Anonymous....

      I think ALOT of people will be getting visits from the feds VERY soon indeed.

      Not so anonymous now cocksuckers.

      1. Hooch181


        You do realize the irony of posting this as AC?

    9. Daniel 1

      I'm sure I could rewrite it.

      "The attack was followed by weeks of denial-of-attack-service, by members of Sony's board, in protest at having to acknowledge the problem."

  6. Thomas 4

    Right film

    Wrong candidate. I suspect that Sony would hire the wannabe samurai that keeps running around in his underpants and yelling.

  7. Owen Carter

    anon != anon except when you are

    Now; if I was, say, perusing compromised machines in Sony's network and spotted some very promising security hole but lacked either the skill, energy or freewheelin nature(*) to exploit them.. I'd probably place them in a hacker friendly forum, where I know blackhats hang out, and sit back to enjoy the show.

    (*) 7 proxies and a love of prison food.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The unspecified reward"

    1 (one) audio CD with built in rootkit?

    If it's cash, I dunno, £5? In vouchers. To buy a Sony CD. Among the titles with a rootkit.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      There goes another keyboard

  9. DS 1


    Sparticus. And I suspect a lot of others will be given the nature of anonymous. The fact is Sony are clueless and their clueless setup and still remain utterly clueless means they deserve all they get. And yes, you can count on it I'm still holding the grudge from the rootkit.

    Count on it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Has putting a bounty on somebody's head ever stopped anyone from doing anything? All it does is inflate the ego's of the hackers and possibly encourage others to see how high a price Sony will stoop to. Reminds me of the wild west.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge

      Sony's gaming division.

      Obviously they need a way to identify high scores.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Bounty bars?

      Maybe they have a lot of coconut filled chocolate bars to get rid of?

  11. Turtle

    Why wouldn't they not?

    Why wouldn't they not offer a bounty?

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      Not sure if serious

      Assuming one parses your question as written, the question becomes "why would they offer a bounty?" which I think is what the article was written to explain. Something about being massively hacked, if my short-term memory does not deceive me.

  12. Skyraker


    I'm Brian and so is my wife.

  13. Muckminded

    Is Eastwood busy?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    I'll offer a bounty !

    To any lazy arsed Sony developer who can actually deliver any updates for their Vaio craptops

  15. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Black Helicopters


    I hear that U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six has nothing to do these days....

    And like the Reg comment boards, they come with their own black stealth-icopter!!! You never hear the one that has your name on it.....

  16. Rombizio

    Attack number 2....

    I hope they get attacked again. And again. And again. Until they go bankrupt. Sony bastards. Horrible support for games, incompetent security design for services and they still believe they are right.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Sony hacked?

    Are you sure the PSN was hacked? The way I heard it it was actually just a log-in using a Devkit which involved no hacking whatsoever.

  18. DragonKin37


    So if someone finds them will that person get a platinum trophy achivement?

    Nah it would be a dodo brown trophy.

  19. FozzyBear Silver badge

    Rumour has it

    That HBGary have taken this tantalising offer from Sony and vowed to track down and expose every member of anonymous involved in the attack.

    After all, HBGary were the ones that implemented the security protocols on the PSN in the first place and have a reputation to protect.

    1. Hooch181

      I know...

      after all, according to HBGary, there are only 30 people in Anon!

  20. The Morgan Doctrine

    Hey, Sony DID watch Zombieland after all!

    Double tap. Zombieland Rule #2. Now you're talking! Play Alien vs Predator in a public game. Ya still need a get-out-of-jail-free card to really play to the public!

  21. Winkypop Silver badge

    S'ony a bit of fun innit?

    It is called a PLAY-station after all.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CTO candidate here.

    Well, not really. But even if I would work for such an outfit they'd notice I am posting "[x] anonymously", so I must be part of anonymous, so they'd rat me out to the FBI sooner than hire me. Or so I expect they'd reason anyway, seeing how they've repeatedly accused "haxxorz!" even when it was their own silly fault.

    Or rather, damnable and hard to excuse oversight but since they're a globocorp "everyone" just accepts that as the quirks of big corporate squeaky wheel machinations. I'll leave that philosophical angle out of it except to note that it's a fundamental threat to privacy: Shit _will_ happen. Another reason to harden the identity system so that identities are robust to abuse, something they so clearly are not now.

    The problem with accusing "anonymous" is that even if every last one of them would come out and say "yes I too did it" that still would leave plenty of room for uncertainty. It maybe sony didn't think this one through. It may also be they're deliberately muddying the waters. They've been less than squeaky clean with this and in the past both--recall their music rootkit, anyone?

    Merely discussing holes in sony systems isn't enough to "pinpoint" the anonymous collective, as sony has been a shiny bright pulsing homing beacon of a target ever since that rootkit and even more so more recently with their ps3 hijinks--that's THEIR hijinks, not geohot's or anyone elses. I could just as well point to "the chinese" or "the russians" or "the balkanites", as snagging PII that sells well on the black market from such a target while the act itself almost automatically redirects attention toward someone else ("anonymous" as the default blindingly obvious blame target) is just too good to leave alone.

    Any road, there simply isn't enough information to sensibly guess any way and sony isn't telling. Their accusations are about as trustworthy as the rest of their handling of the incident. As an attack on their public standing it's quite effective. But that's just about all we know.

  23. Hooch181
    Black Helicopters

    So, my big question...

    Is Sony going to pay out on docs or convictions?

    Cause I'm sure there will be a feeding frenzy of people reporting "Anon", but will any of them be able to be prosecuted?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The more the merrier

    The more hackers they imprison, the better. Hacking is a crime.

    1. Jason DePriest


      My damnable allergies are acting up again and I'm hacking all day long.

      Better call the feds, then...

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