Smooth criminals nab Jacko's back catalogue from Sony. Shamone!

News by Dan Raywood

Michael Jackson's entire back catalogue, including unreleased material, has been stolen from Sony in a fresh breach.

Michael Jackson's entire back catalogue, including unreleased material, has been stolen from Sony in a fresh breach.

According to media reports, the Sony Music archive was hacked with more than 50,000 digital files downloaded.

According to the Guardian, two men were charged on Friday for offences in connection with the alleged security breach. James Marks, 26, from Daventry in Northamptonshire, and James McCormick, 25, from Blackpool, denied charges under the Computer Misuse Act and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act at Leicester Crown Court. They were arrested last May and are due to stand trial next January.

The Daily Mail claimed the hacking occurred shortly after the attack on the PlayStation Network last year, but was not discovered until after routine monitoring of social networking sites, Jackson fan sites and hacking forums.

It also claimed that the hack has compromised the work of other artists managed by the firm, including songs by Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, Olly Murs, Foo Fighters and Avril Lavigne.

Jackson's back catalogue was bought by Sony in 2010 for $250m (£164m), giving the company the rights to sell his catalogue as well as previously unreleased tracks.

A source told The Sunday Times that "everything Sony purchased from the Michael Jackson estate was compromised".

“It caused them to check their systems and they found the breach. There was a degree of sophistication. Sony identified the weakness and plugged the gap.”

Asked if he felt whether this was a case of over-exuberant fans seeking out Jackson's material, or hackers looking to exploit the IP of a company that had been penetrated before, Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, told SC Magazine that it was probably the latter.

“We all remember how they were hacked and the very poor security measures they had in place. So it looks like Sony could be an easy target; if they could get that information then probably that's not all of it, unless Sony had [Jackson's material] on an isolated server, so we could expect more news coming,” he said.

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