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Hackers Steal Unreleased Michael Jackson Tracks from Sony

Thousands of Unreleased Michael Jackson Songs Accessed and Downloaded By Attackers. Other Compromised Works Include Songs From Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, the Foo Fighters, and others.

The plot thickens, and Sony once again has found itself in the news surrounding another hacking-related incident. This time around, the breach doesn’t appear to be in regard any lost user data or customer accounts, but instead, some valuable property owned by the record company.

Today, the UK’s Daily Star and other British news outlets have reported that more than 50,000 music tracks have been illegally accessed and downloaded by hackers, including a large number from the late Michael Jackson.

Sony bought the catalog from Jackson’s estate for $250 Million in 2010, giving the company distribution rights to the unreleased music.

The attack reportedly occurred shortly after details of the massive PlayStation Network breach last April, but details were only revealed this past weekend.

A source reportedly told Britain’s Sunday Times that, “Everything Sony purchased from the Michael Jackson estate was compromised.”

A source told the Daily Star that the hack also compromised the works of other artists held by Sony, including Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, Olly Murs, the Foo Fighters and Avril Lavigne.

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, though Reuters reported that two men appeared in a British court on Friday, accused of being connected with the alleged security breach. The two were arrested last May, Reuters said.

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.

SecurityWeek has reached out to Sony and will post an update when we hear back.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.