Technical Explanation

Technical Explanation of the VAIO Security Issue

Cause of the Security Issue

Sony has identified that the security issue arises from Sony software pre-installed on VAIO Personal Computers.

Outside Japan: Sony software "VAIO Manual"
Japan: Sony software "VAIO Manual CyberSupport for VAIO" Version 3.0 and Version 3.1

NOTE: As this issue does not affect some of the VAIO Personal Computers with the above software, it is extremely important to check the list of the "Affected VAIO Personal Computers" carefully before taking any action.

Possible Outcome Resulting from the Security Issue

An unauthorised person with a malicious intent may obtain access to these VAIO Personal Computers through hidden programs in an Internet web page or Email message. There are possibilities of achieving this through the following methods:

* Internet web page
* Emails written in HTML format
* HTML files attached to Emails

If an affected VAIO computer is subject to unauthorised access, data stored on the computer may be added, changed or deleted without the VAIO owner's authorisation or knowledge. This type of unauthorised access cannot be prevented by regular anti-virus software. However as of January 24th, there have been no reports from VAIO owners of any such violations.

Solution to the Problem

The installation of the "VAIO Security Enhancement Program" is designed to protect VAIO computers from unauthorised access. Security issue is a constant in the Internet environment, and Sony recommends that VAIO owners install anti-virus software, and check the support information on VAIO Online websites. This will assist VAIO owners to become vigilant against virus and security risks.

Tips to improve your computer security

O Do not open or view HTML format Email and/or attached files sent by an unknown person
O Do not randomly access web pages of a questionable nature
O Be cautious when opening a file received from a third person
O Run an anti-virus software frequently
O Keep updated to the latest information on the VAIO Online website
O Check security information posted on the website of Microsoft Corporation

©2002 Sony Corporation