Sony Poised to Win 'Epic Fail' Award at Security Conference
In a year already marked by brazen online attacks against a number of corporations, the security- and lawsuit-related failures racked up early and often by Sony put the consumer electronics giant in an unfortunate class all its own.
That class, fortunately, has a name, and even an awards night dedicated to it.
Though it's not the way it would ideally choose to be celebrated, Sony is up for the "Most Epic Fail" trophy at this year's Pwnie Awards, held at next month's Black Hat Technical Security Conference in Las Vegas.
In fact, Sony is guaranteed to walk away with the inglorious title for failing to protect the personal account information of more than 100 million customers there are no other nominees.
The Pwnie Awards website gives a quick rundown of Sony's fails, which include the legal action it pursued against George Hotz , (also known as GeoHot) a hacker who discovered a way to jailbreak the PlayStation 3 and posted the instructions online. Sony's pursuit of Hotz incurred the wrath of the Anonymous hackers, who quickly launched online attacks against several PlayStation 3 websites in early April.
"Apparently unfamiliar with how the Internet works and how difficult it is to remove the piss from a swimming pool, Sony proceeded to try [to] erase the information from the Internet and sue GeoHot et al. into oblivion. Needless to say, this was about as successful as the MiniDisc," the nominations page reads.
In fact, while Sony is up for the "Most Epic Fail" award for five different infractions, one of the catastrophic problems Sony battled ended up serving an important function educating the public on what can go wrong.
"After learning the hard way that their PlayStation Network was about as porous as air, Sony had to shut it down for over two months to rebuild it from scratch. In doing so, they made everyone from your 8-year old cousin to your barber learn about the importance of security. Hooray for us, sorry Sony shareholders," the awards page reads.
While Sony is a shoo-in to win its category, other Pwnie nominees face stiffer competition.
In the Pwnie for "Epic 0wnage," Anonymous is up for an award for its massive hack against HBGary Federal , but the shadowy hacking group will have to first defeat Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks, Stuxnet and LulzSec, which is nominated "for hacking everyone."
There is a serious side to the Pwnie Awards several renowned and innovative security researchers are up for awards for discovering dangerous and exploitable flaws in Apple's iOS, Google Chrome and the Android App Market.
But those can't hold a candle to the most exciting aspect of the annual Awards show, the Best Song category.
This year's nominees include "Eatin' Cookies," a look into the day-to-day life of a bug hunter; Hotz' raunchy rap "The Light It Up Contest"; warning: adult, or at least teenage, content throughout and "0-day," a cybersecurity spin on Rebecca Black's much-maligned end-of-the-weekend jam "Friday."