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Sony's new security exec is Homeland Security, Microsoft vet

September 6, 2011 |  1:12 pm


Sony Corp. has hired a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security official as its new top security executive.

Philip Reitinger, formerly the director of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Center, will join Sony in the newly created position of chief information security officer and a senior vice president.

The hire is a move to strengthen Sony's defenses after more than 90 million Sony user accounts across the company's online services were breached earlier this year.

Among the services hacked into were Sony's PlayStation Network for online video games (which was out of service for more than a month), its cloud-based Qriocity music service, Sony music websites and Sony Pictures websites.

Before working at the federal government, Reitinger was Microsoft Corp.'s chief trustworthy infrastructure strategist "where he was responsible for improving IT protection and security while coordinating closely with government agencies and private partners in order to build trustworthy computing systems worldwide," according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security.

Reitinger will take a similar role at Sony and be "responsible for assuring the security of Sony's information assets and services," the Japanese tech giant said in a statement. "He will oversee information security, privacy and internet safety across the company, coordinating closely with key headquarters groups and working in partnership with the information security community to bring the best ideas and approaches to Sony."

Nicole Seligman, a Sony executive vice president and the company's general counsel and corporate executive officer, will be Reitinger's boss.

Reitinger has also worked for the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice and holds a law degree from Yale, Sony said.


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Photo: Visitors walk past a Sony logo at a showroom in Tokyo on July 28, 2011. Credit: Franck Robichon/EPA