Hardware Sales Expected To Drop
The ongoing PSN server shutdown in the wake of a successful data breach (and subsequent theft of personal information) has hit Sony hard in terms of lost revenue, but has also now hit them where it hurts: their shares. Financial organisations warn that hardware sales may suffer as a result - and much of the shareholder panic is linked to new reports that Sony ignored reports that their servers were potentially vulnerable to attack.
According to the most recent share price information (as reported by Reuters), Sony's shares have dropped in value by 4% on Friday, and financial analysts warn that hardware sales are also likely to temporarily decline due to the knock in consumer confidence.
There is a real concern that trust in Sony's business will decline.
The network business itself still only makes a small direct contribution to earnings, but we see a potential drop in hardware sales as a concern. - Kota Ezawa, analyst at Citigroup Global Markets Japan
The decline in share prices is partly a knee jerk reaction by shareholders due to lost PSN marketplace sales... but the recent public probe into the situation by US Congress certainly hasn't helped matters. Damningly, Information Security expert Dr. Gene Spafford has presented new information to a U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee that suggests Sony ignored several warnings about potential security breaches.
On a few of the security mailing lists that I read, there were discussions that individuals who work in security and participate in the Sony network … had discovered that the network servers were hosted on … very old versions of Apache software that were unpatched and had no firewall installed.
These were potentially vulnerable, and that they had reported these in an open forum that was monitored by Sony employees, but had seen no response and no change or update to the software.
Spafford claims that these reports were made several months prior to the PSN hack attack, and his report is likely to go down like a lead balloon with Sony shareholders and customers alike. Hindsight's a bitch - and we'll keep you up to date with the latest.