Entertainment giant Sony has confirmed that hackers accessed its systems and compromised Michael Jackson’s entire back catalog, including many unreleased songs. Michael Jackson’s entire back catalog has been stolen by Internet hackers.
Sony music suffered its second major security breach in a year, with thieves targeting songs and unreleased material by the superstar singer. It’s alleged they downloaded more than 50,000 music files worth $253 million in the biggest ever cyber-attack on a music company. The news comes just a year after Sony paid $395 million for the seven-year rights to the songs following Jocko’s death.
The buy-up came with a stash of unreleased tracks including duets Jacko did with the late Queen singer FreddieMercury and Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am 36. Sony had been planning to release them on up to 10 albums, which would have netted a fortune.
It is thought that the hack occurred around the same time Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) was hacked in April 2011 but was not noticed at the time. It is thought that the breach was only noticed through the monitoring of social networks and Michael Jackson fan sites.”Everything Sony purchased from the Michael Jackson estate was compromised,” a source told. “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.”
The hack has compromised the work of other artists managed by the firm, including songs by Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, Olly Murs, the Foo Fighters and Avril Lavigne. Two men appeared in court in the UK on Friday accused of offenses in connection with the alleged security breach. James Marks, 26, and James McCormick, 25, denied charges under the Computer Misuse Act and the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act and were bailed. They are due to stand trial next January.
It’s unclear who stole the recordings, and if it was the same attackers responsible for the massive PlayStation breach which compromised the accounts of millions of Sony customers. So far, it appears as though the recordings have not been leaked to the Internet, but it’s possible that could happen unless the hacker just plans to keep them for his or her own listening enjoyment.