By Zachary Swickey
While the Internet is burning up with risqué leaked images allegedly of Olivia Munn and Christina Hendricks, it appears that some other computer hackers were after something much more lucrative – Michael Jackson’s entire back catalog.
Fox reports that more than 50,000 music were ripped from Sony Music in what is being called the “biggest ever cyberattack on a music company.”
The hackers were able to steal a payload of MJ’s music, including unreleased material from his sessions for Bad, Off the Wall and Thriller, in addition to unreleased duets with will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and late Queen late singer Freddie Mercury.
Nine months after Jackson’s passing, Sony Music paid the late singer’s estate a whopping $253 million for the back catalog – all of which was compromised by the hackers. Sony released some of the music they purchased with the posthumous Jackson effort Michael.
British newspaper The Sunday Times reports that the online theft occurred in April when hackers attacked Sony’s Playstation Network and stole information on 77 million registered users. The simultaneous copying of MJ’s music files wasn’t discovered by Sony until much later, though it is only now becoming public knowledge.
“It [the Playstation Network breach] caused them to check their systems and they found the breach,” a source told The Times, adding, “Sony identified the weakness and plugged the gap.”
Sony has since confirmed the incident to the BBC.
Two men accused of the hacking appeared at Leicester Crown Court. Both denied the charges under the Computer Misuse Act and the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act, and were then released on bail. They will face trail beginning next January, according to The Guardian.