Sony continues to suffer from one of largest-ever hacks of a commercial company in history. All last week the company suffered from security breaches and it seems like there is no sign of the haemorrhage stopping.
Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO, Michael Lynton, and co-chairman, Amy Pascal, described the hack as a "brazen attack on our company, our employees and our business partners" in a company-wide memo. I've had some sympathy for Sony - the origins of the hack still remain unclear - with some even suggesting that North Korea is responsible. Sony Pictures soon to be released film 'the interview' has been cited as the motivation, a comedy film centered around an assassination plot of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. It's all quite bizarre.
However, any sympathy I had for Sony is fast diminishing, with the latest hack displaying a worrying disregard for strong security protocol within the company. The latest files posted by hackers include word documents, excel sheets and other files that openly display all kinds of sensitive information: Usernames and passwords for employees and for company social media accounts, are all plainly visible. More worryingly for employees of the company, other sensitive information such as social security numbers and credit card details have all been exposed - none of which were protected or encrypted by any means what so ever.
If the irresponsible unprotected files were not bad enough - the passwords themselves used by employees of the company also displayed a shocking lack of serious security measures and protocol within the company. Passwords such as: 'password' (yes, really!) and 'S0ny123' were in use by employees of the company. If one of the leading tech companies is struggling to educate its own staff on safe password etiquette, I hate to imagine the widespread vulnerability passwords are causing.
We've been banging the drum for a while now. It's time for passwords to go. Leaked passwords might not have been the origin of the hacks into Sony, that's still unclear, but this latest breach will potentially lead to more and once again exposes the security issues inherent with passwords.
As a security solution they have become far too user unfriendly. They are a hassle and barrier to interaction. We believe in a solution at Ensygnia that eradicates usernames and passwords for login and registration. In fact, we're offering that solution free until the end of the year. Head here to make sure you don't miss out.
By Matthew Taylor 5th December 2014
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