When lulz-seeking hackers aren't busy reincarnating Tupac on PBS and taking down government websites worldwide, they always seem to turn their attention to videogame companies. We're not quite sure what the grudge is, but Sony, Nintendo, Minecraft, Bethesda, Sega, BioWare and scads of other targets have been hacked in one way or another. Pretty much the only major company unaffected thus far has been Microsoft. In fact, the company's even profited from the rash of attacks as gamers bailed the PlayStation in droves. So what does Microsoft think of all the recent troubles from its seat on the sidelines?
"It’s bad for the industry that this has happened to Sony. It’s very, very bad," Dennis Durkin, COO and CFO of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, told IndustryGamers. "It’s very damaging." The Microsoft bigwig spoke carefully and avoided giving any impression of rivalry-inspired glee at Sony's security problems.
Eroded confidence in Sony is eroded confidence in all online-based businesses, Durkin suggested, and Microsoft's cards are on the cloud-computing table. A Microsoft VP recently told the Seattle Times that Microsoft sees the Xbox Live platform evolving into an iTunes-type service. If companies want consumers to migrate to the cloud in droves, they need to make the virtual environment feel secure. But don't put it all on the shoulders of the corporations; Durkin says that consumers also need to step up to the plate and stop using the same passwords over and over again to try and minimize damages in case a system is hacked.
"Like in society, you can’t always protect everything," Durkin admitted. "There are people who are going to want to disrupt things and you can't always perfectly protect against every scenario, but we’re going to make sure we do everything to we can to be sure we’re as secure as we possibly can be."