First PSN outage, breach class-action lawsuit filed

Alabama man initiates legal action in U.S. District Court in California over Sony's "failure to maintain adequate computer data security of consumer personal data."

As one might expect in the land of litigation, it was just a matter of time before Sony was sued over the ongoing PlayStation Network outage and personal-data breach. That time is now, since today an Alabama man sued Foster City, California-based Sony Computer Entertainment America in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California.

The PSN outage will soon be entering a legal phase.

According to the complaint, which has been obtained by GameSpot, Kristopher Johns of Birmingham, Alabama, has filed suit against SCEA on behalf of himself and all others affected by the outage. It is his contention that the action results from Sony's "failure to maintain adequate computer data security of consumer personal data and financial data, including, but not limited to, credit card data and the reasonably foreseeable exploitation of such inadequate security at defendant Sony by computer 'hackers,' causing the compromise of the privacy of private information of approximately 77 million consumer credit card account holders."

The suit continues, saying that Johns "believes that this breach of security was caused by Sony's negligence in data security, including its failure to maintain a proper firewall and computer security system, failure to properly encrypt data, its unauthorized storage and retention of data, its violation of Payment Card Industry Data Standard(s), and rules and regulations it was bound to obey for the benefit of consumers concerning the storage of consumers' private identifying transaction and credit card information."

Further, the suit says that Johns "is informed and believes that [Sony] has been aware for a substantial period of time that PSN was prone to catastrophic loss of data from a security breach. Nevertheless, [Sony] failed to warn its customers of the problem or tried to prevent them from suffering system suspension from security breaches and data losses." Yesterday, Sony offered an explanation as to why it took so long to admit that PSN users' information had been compromised, saying it took several days to properly assess the degree of the breach.

Johns is seeking that the suit be certified as a class action, allowing him and his attorneys to represent all PSN users affected by the outage and breach. It also seeks actual damages suffered by the class, as well as compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages plus interest, attorney's fees, and court costs. He is also asking the court to issue an order requiring Sony to "refund to [Johns] and all members of the Class the funds paid to [Sony] for the defective PlayStations and PSN services [and] ordering Defendant to pay for credit card monitoring for Plaintiff and all members of the Class."

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Discussion

1317 comments
lordquasar
lordquasar

LOL. I know that part. my cousin and I have our info on watch since we travel a lot. So I think in our case it would be hard to pin on Sony.

Bahamutmega
Bahamutmega

If Sean Connery can escape Alcatraz than anything is possible.....anything...

Muteki_X
Muteki_X

@ thesim1990 @ akiwak @ exedeath A Canadian law firm is now suing, but "it's all America's fault". Quit being a hate monger.

RaddaRaddaRadda
RaddaRaddaRadda

What a freaking baby. I don't think he comprehends the lengths to which these hackers had to go to gain access to the network. If this guy thinks it was so inadequately protected, I'd like to see him try to hack it himself. Translation of this suit: I WANT FREE MONEY.

GarbageGnome
GarbageGnome

@sixgears2 I'm not endorsing some attempt to get a "quick buck" (class actions can take years to reach settlement) on a "perceived calamity" (Sony's online gaming service just confirmed thousands of bank accounts were compromised). The point is not to try and extort money from Sony, the point is to obtain information Sony otherwise does not have to disclose. Was the hack the result of negligence on Sony's part? Did they leave gaping holes in their security system? Were they aware of the problem for a significant amount of time, and did nothing to prevent a imminent threat to their customers? No one can answer these questions except Sony, and Sony (like any large corporation) has already proven they won't disclose information until they feel they should, and even then they only offer vague statements. Class action lawsuits are one of the only ways customers can get meaningful information and remedy from corporations. So again, Bravo Mr. Johns.

OldKye
OldKye

@djdanrobbins Also it does hurt you still. If you get charged money and sony was made to cover it no lose to you but if you get charged money and the credit card company has to foot the bill it does hurt you it's a long process to get it taken off that it wasn't you even if you do when getting a loan or anything else your credit may come up as a B+ or C instead of a A even if you've never had a late payment requiring you to bring a paper that says no that's wrong and even if it is removed most places can still find that kind of info and may decide your higher risk just because it's be stolen before and they don't have to tell you that's why they rejected you or raised the rate

OldKye
OldKye

@djdanrobbins i was being somewhat sarcastic that is kinda what I'm saying it is silly which is why i find it funny that when a corporation having done something wrong is so easy to let off the hook because your credit card is required by law to cover their mistake? it would be like a car company that shipped defective cars causing them to crash and people to get hurt but no one wanted to hold the car company accountable because all the people hurt had medical and car insurance it just doesn't make sense

djdanrobbins
djdanrobbins

@OldKye - I'm not getting your point. Claims of $100 between friends would be a small claims court matter (as would any claim of personal loss of under $5,000). What makes no sense to me is how this silly lawsuit can be filed with absolutely no information as to any monetary loss suffered by anyone.

shakensparco
shakensparco

Looks like someone is just using this as an excuse for money.

TigerRifle1
TigerRifle1

Since he's doing this on behalf of all PSN users I should be expecting a cut of the winnings....right?

OldKye
OldKye

@lordquasar don't quite get how the world works do you lol? your bank has claimed responsibility for charges that aren't you as required by law however they are out to make money if they can pin the blame on Sony they save more money than you could hold in a account at their bank so they are more than happy to support actions against some other party being responsible. In much the same way you break your leg(i did recently even) you get a form in the mail from you health insurance making sure it didn't happen at work(work then being responsible for part of the money) or in a car(car insurance then being responsible). @djdanrobbins yes we wouldn't want to take time away from matters of under a $100 in civil courts between friends that clog it right now in order to take actions against multi-million dollar corporations that have promised you protection really? This clearly didn't shut Sony down even with a cost estimated at 24 billion dollars Amazon or anywhere else isn't going out of business because you held them to what they say trust me they wouldn't think twice about hunting you down for beaching your side of a contract. I do think we sue too much but as long as it's a right for your neighbors mom to sue you for your tree growing onto her side of the fence big company's are susceptible too.

lordquasar
lordquasar

LOL. The bank should cover it. I lost my card info when a well known site was hacked my bank covered all 20k+ that it was used for. This guy is an idiot if he thinks he will get money out of this suit.

djdanrobbins
djdanrobbins

I'm wondering who needs more attention: the claimant filing the suit or the attorney who convinced him that he needed to sue. If this stupid case goes forward its setting the stage for every online retailer / service provider to be sued by anyone claiming to have suffered a loss in transacting online. The cases would clog the courts (thus interfering with the entire civil court system) and result in countless numbers of retailers pulling out of the online marketplace. Who suffers most? ALL of us. Besides, don't MOST issuing credit card banks offer protection and insurance against this very thing? What is to be gained by suing Sony when you've actually lost nothing except maybe a few days of online game time?

lilnedy
lilnedy

Just like we require any business to protect our data Sony should be no different. They have money to protect their network but have failed to do so. They should be fined heavy. Just like any hospital is fined if your data is exposed these guys should be punished as well. I have used PSN since the start but after this never again. Month free and here you go come on people wake up. These corporations are making bank but wont spend a dime to protect their consumers. Stop making cheesy commercials and go hire some real IT talent!

anthonycg
anthonycg

If Sony started charging for online security that would be it for me. I picked the PS3 over the 360 for free online, backward compatibility and Other OS and well.....

anthonycg
anthonycg

@nosferatu94 Microsoft has probably stepped up it's security by now.

A_Belmont
A_Belmont

Sony was bad about relating important info to consumers for several days, but their recent psn blog posts have finally shown the company's taking this as seriously as they should be. Considering how good a legal team Sony has...I'd just put pressure on them rather than investing all the time and money to a court case. A lot of the wording of this case is subjective, rather than objective - a good lawyer would be able to get it thrown out of court. Or Sony will offer this guy and his lawyers a nice tidy sum to shush up and it'll be settled confidentially, with this bugger reaping the rewards. Altruistic my butt, this guy and his lawyers are out for themselves. Also, claiming to have inside information? Wouldn't it be a hoot if this guy turned out to be the (one of) the hackers? I can totally see it happening!

sora123455
sora123455

Well, I knew that this would happen the entire time.

naraku2099
naraku2099

@FanFicGuru:"But would you blame someone whose house was robbed even though they locked and bolted their doors just because they forgot to lock the back door, or because the thief got through a window?" Yes. Yes I would. That's negligence. While there's no way I can know for sure if the security breach of PSN occurred because of negligence, all I really care about is PSN getting back online... with significantly better security than before, of course.

RavenXavier
RavenXavier

Most important words in the whole article... "its unauthorized storage and retention of data" Nuff Said.

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

@ deathwish026 I don't think you know what broadcast actually means. Look it up!

blaznwiipspman1
blaznwiipspman1

sony got overly greedy and this is the result. So what if someone after 5 years finally managed to get the masterkey to your system, there was no need to "sue" Hotz. Now karma comes back to them, the hacker community got pissed off, took down their network and now theres a class action suit waiting for Sony. Of course even if the suit wins Sony won't pay for it, but think of how many playstation customers they are going to lose....I for one won't be buying a playstation next gen.

Crypt1978
Crypt1978

I say choose your battles wisely and Sony did not. I love them and all they do for the gaming industry but i disagreed with how they handled the Hotz situation. Now they have pissed off the hacking community because they wanted to make him an example. Now Sony is being made an example. Don't piss of law breakers they don't have to follow the rules. Sucks that the PSN is down, i was wanting to get a digital copy of FFVII for my PSP..... :(

Kryptnyt
Kryptnyt

Only reason the guy is sueing is probably because he has nothing better to do with his free time... which was previously spent playing online games with his buddies. I don't think that anyone has had a credit card compromised, but people should take steps to secure their accounts anyway, if they have used them for purchases from sony. Good luck getting back online, guys. I feel your pain, as I want to play some tag-team online MK2011 with my bud.

jasonlc3221
jasonlc3221

Actually, most of us Americans are pretty greedy (but give me a break, what "rich" country isn't full of greedy people? And when I say rich country, don't be a smart alec, you know what I mean. I'm not talking about the government). The only thing that keeps most of us from suing is the fact that lawyers are too expensive and if we lose, well.................we paid that lawyer for nothing. Plus, even if I did have the money to burn on a lawyer, I would still pick my battles wisely. This would not be one of them. PSN users will be lucky if you get a free game out of it.

deathwish026
deathwish026

doesent matter if your situation with sony is ... irrepairable. they shouldent have allowed this to happen in the first place. personal details that people dident want broadcasting have been broadcasted. they have a right to sue

Braden-O
Braden-O

first of all a tornado hit alabama so this greedy person wants money well sucks for him

SplinterCellSC2
SplinterCellSC2

Drop the lawsuit! Sony has enough to worry about right now! Vultures! If I get the petition I sure as hell won't sign it! Yeah sure, I could use some money in my pocket too but only if it is earned respectfully. Taking advantage of such a situation in my eyes, is pretty underhanded and crass. Basically, no better than the hackers that caused this problem in the first place! All I want is to be back online rockin' with the rest of my fellow PS3 gamers! C'mon Sony! Don't take any chit from these guys. Use what legal muscle you have and bury this guy and his lawsuit, so you can get on with making your services even better! HUA?

thisranks
thisranks

It's not like this was unexpected. There are plenty of hacker supporters out there, and as someone else stated it wouldn't be a surprise if this individual turns out to be one. Just like it was expected that someone would blame all of America for the ignorance, audacity, and sheer stupidity of one individual. I expect this won't get very far anyways unless a liberal judge is involved in the process.

Deathstalker83
Deathstalker83

Just because 1 american is greedy, you idiots want to point fingers at all of us americans,we're not all greedy people there are some good americans left that are honest hard working people !!!!!

FanFicGuru
FanFicGuru

Insuring cyber security is a lot harder than most of you are making it out to be. Hackers out there who want to get information will get it. Doesn't matter how well encrypted it is, how many firewalls there are, etc. Does it suck that PSN got hacked? Yes. But would you blame someone whose house was robbed even though they locked and bolted their doors just because they forgot to lock the back door, or because the thief got through a window? I don't think so.

thesim1990
thesim1990

Yet another american milking a company who is already in a ton of crap right now trying to fix the damn network!

HuSSaR83
HuSSaR83

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

nosferatu94
nosferatu94

like sony didn't see this one coming. anyone wanna guess if microsoft is next?

kytomasi
kytomasi

This is going to fail so bad. I Wont be surprised if hes in with he hacker that did this. This is classic behavior in trying to damage a corp's image. Credit Card numbers get stolen all the time from smaller online stores with poor encryption. No encryption is safe as it stands now. Depends on how long the hacker has to work at it. Hacker normally target a one or an small group of customers since it takes a while to work with encrypted data. This was just a massive break so im 96% sure no CC/Debt C information was taken. This was to damage Sony's Rep no more then that. But its funny, companies are willing to give out our information for money, they make hundreds of thousands selling our information to marketers. All these big corps care about money, not privacy.

ubergusterfan
ubergusterfan

Really, this is sad. Credit Card data was encrypted, and most likely safe. Personal data, sure that sucks, but it is nothing that is irreparable. They don't have SSNs, and that's the most important thing. So now they have, what, my email address, address and name? Look most people up on facebook and you'll get that much information. Passwords? It took me five minutes to change my passwords in all my accounts, even the ones with completely different passwords just for good measure. One phone call to experian just to be on the safe side to put up a fraud alert on my credit. But seriously, this is not worth a law suit, and even if it does achieve class action status, and even if Sony does lose and is forced to pay, I will opt out of any payment, because I don't want to be a cheap and lazy opportunist, I want to make my money the old fashioned way: honest and hard work.

akiwak
akiwak

Land of Litigation, Ugh one of the downsides to being american...... There has also been lawsuits for getting Hot coffee served and also for performing life saving CPR on a person.

Hollow-Byakuya
Hollow-Byakuya

Wishing death on hackers? That demonstrates everything wrong with America's spoiled "I want everything, and I want it now society", do some good for once instead of being useless social critics that actually have no right to criticize. Christ.

raith616
raith616

could be though that by sony being greedy (nah the security as it stands fine no need to spend cash upgrading annual budget bla blah blah) that its got heresony made these choices now it has to deal with em in exedeath's example below the bank would only have to pay if they let customer data be easily accessable then they would have to pay which is this situation exactly but as for the victims in this, its us people not sony

jemoedr
jemoedr

@exedeath You said exactly what i think :)

raith616
raith616

@jaxifer24 right on man, could agree more theres always gonna be opertunists this shows it both ways, but your right about the security standards especially when something like this can affect so many, one of the other atricles says there been no use of the cc details so far, if they have everyones info though they could be applying for anything anyone know how the royal weddings being funded perchance arf

raith616
raith616

oh well now sony knows how it feels kinda, weird karma, but if they'd had the security in place to properly protect our details in the first place we wouldn't be at this point (no ecuses really, might only have come to light after a system hack, but they didn't seem bothered bout either letting folks know they'd had our data stolen, then had days of spin) hope sony comes away from this having learned it needs to look after its customers n not its coffers

wilmepe
wilmepe

Looks like someone is looking to hit the lawsuit lottery.

ar2_arr
ar2_arr

sony is a victim here as much as the consumers, the real criminal is the haker, try finding him and suing him. anyway he can sue, but the question is if he would win such thing, i think he shouldnt

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

That's just adding insult to injury... this is not on. He sure as hell doesn't represent me as a PSN user in this lawsuit.

DoomRider13
DoomRider13

Sweet tornadoes Alabama....Sweet tornadoes Alabama....

belgrave
belgrave

Someone's hacking and suing a company that brings so much joy to the world! What have we become?

exedeath
exedeath

Congrats everyone. Your greed, and idiocy could lead to SONY charging people to play online much like Microsoft. It is amazing that a hacker did this, and SONY has to pay. Only in America can the innocent victim get the worst end of a crime. This is like saying that if someone robbed a bank, the bank would have to pay everyone who did their business there for not having enough security, while the criminal goes free. Only in America.