Storms in the Cloud: Sony and SEGA Data Breaches Cause Continued Online Data Security Worries

Surprisingly, 12% in Favor of the Hacks

In its announcement this week that 1.3 million user accounts had been breached, SEGA became just the latest company to have its consumer databases compromised this spring. Also affected by online hackers have been Citi, Bethesda Software, TiVo, and, perhaps most notably, Sony, whose Playstation Network was offline for a month following an attack.
Crimson Hexagon utilized its Forsight platform to rapidly analyze 28,304 mentions on Twitter of Sony’­s and SEGA’s data leaks from April 26 (the day of Sony’s announcement) through June 23. Of these, statements of fact and news reports were disregarded, leaving 15,871 opinions about the data breaches.

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Here is a summary of the analysis:

Negative Reaction to the Companies:
The greatest proportion of conversation noted that these breaches were embarrassing for Sony and SEGA. 33% of the conversation believed this data breach would affect Sony’s and SEGA’s images or expressed a desire to move to competitors. A further 17% lamented that these breaches could have happened in the first place and hoped they would spur companies to improve their security.

  • Had to cancel my debit card. A special thanks goes out to @playstation for their awful security. @jmcamp
  • Sony had ANOTHER breach! Hackers once AGAIN stole another 12,000 or so users gift games and info! I’m selling our PS3 to Amazon! @kruggurl
  • My new security slogan. “Better Safe Than Sony” @LeFonk
  • What makes me mad about the Playstation hack is that I only found out accidentally. PS didn’t notify me that my information was compromised! @Crowinator

Admiration for Hackers:
A significant amount of the conversation actually consisted of praise for, or admiration of, the hackers. 12% of relevant opinions voiced some sort of support for the actions against the corporations, either in praise of the hacker’s intelligence, for highlighting security flaws, or as a general critique of corporations.

  • kid who just got arrested for Sony hack is going to get the top job at Google i reckon! i reckon he might be a bit smart. @blackcabsession
  • @daryl_photoshop yeah, you have got to give them credit for the Sony hack, showed how weak the security was, specially such important data. @DarrenAdamally
  • Why is TREB so concerned with client data-security when Sony, Honda, and 1000 other major corporations could care less. @Sunilhomes

Criticism of Hackers:
A greater proportion, 17%, of relevant opinion did come out against the hackers, but always for the illegality of their actions; rather, much opinion criticized the hackers for bringing down the video game networks, in particular, and suggested they target other types of companies.

  • Dear Internet – if you want to hack someone, hack Sallie Mae and erase Student Loan Debt. Not Sony 😛 #lulsec @QManning
  • Sony, Nintendo, Sega, why don’t they hack the real vilan corporations and leave the good ones, #hacking @quakebox
  • Y do hackers wanna hack the playstation network it’s been five days i havent playd cod black ops n I’m jonesen lol @ATROCYTI

21% of related opinions took a more resigned approach to this string of data break-ins, suggesting this might just be nature of a cloud-powered world.

  • @LettersOfNote now anyone can hack the CIA, Sony, Nintendo, Lockheed Martin, Distribute.IT, and possibly the entire UK census… 🙂 @drng
  • With these days of Sony and Nintendo hack problems, it is interesting to see Apple launching the iCloud. Still wonder about “Cloud” security @ATNewMedia
  • Is it just me or has there been a lot hacking going on lately. First Sony(PSN), Lockheed Martin and now PBS. Too many script kiddies! #hack @sameeriqbal

Overall, the high level of sympathy for the attacks, direct or indirect, might seem surprising, but it is worth noting that due to the nature of the online media, participants in the discussion with positive views towards the hackers may be naturally overrepresented.
Were you affected by either breach? Will you be able to trust cloud security? Are you taking special precautions? Let us know!
As always, we’ll continue analyzing the space for interesting trends. In the meantime, feel free contact us at with questions or to learn how your market, brand or product could benefit from leveraging the Crimson Hexagon ForSight™ platform for social media monitoring and analysis. Want to see the Crimson Hexagon platform in action? Request a Live Online Demo.

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