It has recently been revealed that the hackers who breached Sony’s network in April last year, stole more than just the personal information of 77 million of Sony PlayStation users.
They have also reportedly stolen more than 50, 000 music files valued at approximately $253 million includingÂ Michael Jacksonâ€™s entire back catalog of published music as well as previously unreleased tracks.
Sony discovered the recent hack, within weeks of its ocurrance, through routine monitoring of social networking sites, Michael Jackson fan sites and hacker forums. The companyÂ kept the news under wraps from the media and public because no personal customer data was stolen and therefore it was not required to be released. However, the Jackson estate was notified of all the content that had been stolen.
Sony purchased the Jackson catalog in 2010, a year after the singerâ€™s death, giving the music giant rights to the catalog for seven years as well as permission to release 10 new albums of his work. Among the unreleased tracks that were stolen were Michael Jackson duets with Black Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am and Queen’s former lead singer, Freddy Mercury.
In addition the hackers obtained tracks fromÂ Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, the Foo Fighters and Avril Lavigne.
Sony has acknowledged the breach to the BBC, but refused to say how many Jackson files the hackers had downloaded. Sony still possesses copies of all the music, and the breach does not affect its ability to continue to release albums and individual songs that were taken by the hackers.