During a recent shareholder meeting, Sony Corp. CEO Howard Stringer made it very clear that he believes the world is at the cusp of a new age of cyber terrorism. Yet despite calls for him to step down from his post, during which Sony’s losses may have totaled over $24 billion from cyber attacks, he skirted around the issue, saying that his company is hardly alone.
“I think you see that cyber terrorism is now a global force, affecting many more companies than just Sony,” he said. “If hackers can hack Citibank, the FBI and the CIA, and yesterday the video game company Electronics Arts, then it’s a negative situation that governments may have to resolve.”
And though he didn’t mention him by name, Stringer indirectly implied that it was Sony’s lawsuit with hacker George Hotz—who recently landed himself a job working for Facebook—that incurred the wrath of hacker group Anonymous. On April 11, Sony stated it had reached a settlement with Hotz for posting a blog about how to play unlicensed games on the PlayStation 3. A week later, the first attack against Sony took place.
Reuters is reporting that since the attacks began on April 26, Sony’s stock has fallen 16 percent— with no signs of swinging up.
The PlayStation Network, which was crippled after receiving the brunt of the attacks, is still only 90 percent functional. According to the Escapist, the network is still down for users in Japan with no estimated date of return.
During the shareholder meeting, Stringer stated that the attacks took place “because we tried to protect our IP (intellectual property), our content.” One shareholder reportedly “asked him to step down to allow the company to make a fresh start.”
Stringer ignored his comment amidst some light applause.