How to check if Sony Pictures hack affects you

Gizmodo has put up a web form where users can check to see if their personal details were stolen

A few computer clicks is all it takes to learn if you were a victim of the Sony Pictures hack attack, but be careful.

Gizmodo has a created a form where you can type in your email address and see instantly whether the LulzSec hackers know where you live, your date of birth, phone number, and more.

Sony confirmed in a statement that a group of criminal hackers known as LulzSec claimed to have breached some of its websites. Sony said a breach had indeed occurred and the company has taken action to protect against further intrusion.

As with the PlayStation Network hack, Sony said it was hiring a "respected team of outside experts" to make things right, but observers question why such experts aren't already in place among Sony's staff.

LulzSec claims the hack exploited extremely basic deficiencies, such as storing passwords in plain text rather than encrypted.

It's not clear from Gizmodo's write-up if they have access to all LulzSec's hacked data, which includes over 1 million records, or whether it's the 51,000 or so account details already released and freely available.

The hackers apparently were only able to download a portion of what was available. Users of are left hanging as to whether their personal details are part of the haul.

Gizmodo, which has experience dealing with the authorities as demonstrated last year with the stolen iPhone 4 prototype, said it won't store the email addresses you test. Still, you will want to be cautious. Its site hardly has a first-class record when it comes to security, having itself been hacked at the end of last year.

There may be a far better way of checking user details against stolen data, as was illustrated by security researcher HD Moore, who provided a way for users to check their data against the Gizmodo theft. Moore required users first encrypt their data on a third-party website before checking it against a publicly accessible Google Docs spreadsheet that contains similarly encrypted data. This way no data was revealed, nor was anybody able to log it.

Sony's been a regular victim of hack attacks recently with the PlayStation Network, Qtrocity, Sony Online Entertainment, Sony Ericsson, and a Japan-based ISP subsidiary all falling victim. Experts are divided as to whether this is down to a sustained hacker campaign against the entertainment giant or whether Sony's systems simply have poor security. The hardware hacker that may have inspired the run of attacks and who cracked the PlayStation 3's encryption system, George Hotz, recently claimed that Sony had itself to blame for the attacks.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hackersapplicationssecuritysoftwaresonydata protection

More about Ericsson AustraliaetworkGoogleSonySony Ericsson

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Keir Thomas

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts