Sony Hack 2023: The Truth About How This Compromise Effects You.

Written By: Anthony Reyes

Updated: September 25, 2023

Recent claims made by the emerging cybercrime group, Ransomed VC, suggest a potential breach of Sony’s systems. Drawing immediate attention and concern, these allegations raise questions about Sony’s cyber defenses, given its history of notable breaches.


Background: Sony’s Past Cybersecurity Incidents

Historically, Sony has faced significant cyber attacks. In 2011, they were compelled to shut down the PlayStation Network for almost a month. Later, in 2014, North Korean hackers infiltrated their systems, making off with unreleased films. <Link to past Sony cybersecurity incidents>

Who is Ransomed VC?

Ransomed VC, a relatively new player in the cybercrime arena, made its debut less than a month ago. The group initially intended to launch a cybercrime forum named “Ransom Forums”. However, after a brief existence, they pivoted to create “Ransomed”, a “ransomware agency”, with a mission slightly confusing mission statement: “Looking forwards to put sanctions on the less that did not to pay”. Their official site, which has been updated multiple times within short intervals, lists their apparent exploits. From what we’ve seen this group appears to be stealing from the mega-billionaires, and lining their own pockets, not helping the less fortunate as many a Hollywood film would have us believe.

The Current Claim

Ransomed VC’s announcement implies a breach of the entirety of Sony. Such a claim requires scrutiny, as Sony comprises various independent units like Sony Pictures, Sony Financial Group, and Sony Interactive Entertainment. Evidence shared by Ransomed VC includes screenshots of a developer’s PC, a PowerPoint presentation on a virtual machine setup, and a document listing 6,000 files purportedly from Sony. Preliminary analysis suggests that the data might be of moderate significance, without any indication of confidential executive communications, as witnessed in the 2014 breach.

Public Reaction and Contradictions

Post the revelation, many online platforms, notably TikTok, erupted with speculative and often misguided interpretations. A notable claim (and hundreds like it) circulating was the potential shutdown of the PlayStation Network and potential exposure of users’ credit card information. We are happy to inform you that this information is categorically, demonstrably FALSE. There is no reason to believe that anything these TikTok creators are reporting on is anything more than clout and trend chasing at it’s best.

Adding a twist, an individual named “Major Nelson” released what was described as the complete data breach on a public forum (we won’t be disclosing that information for obvious reasons), challenging Ransomed VC’s authenticity and motives. Preliminary inspection of the released data reveals passwords likely linked to test setups and other non-critical information.

Inside Scoop on Ransomed VC

Sources with alleged inside knowledge suggest that Ransomed VC might not be the actual hackers but purchasers of initial access from dark web marketplaces. This theory offers a possible explanation for Major Nelson’s data disclosure, suggesting simultaneous access acquisition to Sony’s servers. Furthermore, the “ransom” in their name might be a misrepresentation as encryption-based ransom attacks might be beyond their capabilities at present. Easily accessible, convenient, and diverse dark web marketplaces, are becoming uncomfortably more common every year giving low skilled groups like Ransomed VC the potential to, under the right circumstances, become extremely dangerous, incredibly quickly.

Conclusion

Ransomed VC’s web presence remains unstable, with frequent offline intervals. As cybersecurity experts, we emphasize the importance of authentic and verified information. While it’s crucial to understand and address potential threats, misinformation can escalate unnecessary panic.

It is advisable for organizations and individuals to stay updated, employ robust cybersecurity measures, and rely on trusted sources for information. At Ikigai One, we remain committed to providing our clients with world-class cybersecurity services and insights into constantly adapting threat landscapes.

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