Michael Jackson Unreleased Tracks Stolen, Worth $253 Million

Unreleased tracks by Michael Jackson, in addition to his entire back catalog, have been stolen from Sony music with an estimated value of $253 million.

Sony music has suffered yet another security breach. Last April the details of 77 million gamers were hacked in to, costing the company not only its reputation but also $168 million. Files of the late Michael Jackson were hacked shortly after, however the incident remained undiscovered until now.

The discovery was made after a routine check. "It was discovered during routine monitoring of social networking sites, Jackson fan sites and hacking forums," Fox news reported. "Everything Sony purchased from the Michael Jackson estate was compromised," a source close to the company told Fox.

Last year Sony paid $375 million for seven year rights to Jackson's music. More than 50,000 files were compromised during the hack, which were worth a total of $253 million. Files from other artists were also compromised, including some from Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, Olly Murs, the Foo Fighters and Avril Lavigne.

Knowledge regarding the hack was not immediately made public; the new information could further damage the reputation of the company. Sony has since responded to the hacking issue.

"We confirmed the breach last May and immediately took steps to secure the site and notify authorities. As a result, the two suspects were arrested. There was no consumer data involved in the incident," a Sony spokesperson said.

However despite Sony's attempts to repair the breach, customers are likely to be more suspicious after a second attack. Successive breaches "would have made investors and artists think, 'What other part of Sony isn't secure?'" the source added.

A "fingerprint" left by the hacker has been linked back to the United Kingdom. "The Serious Organized Crime division took up the case and two men appeared in court last week charged with offences under the computer Misuse Act," Fox reported.

The charges have been denied and both suspects were released on bail.