Sony President and Chairman Howard Stringer finally speaks out about their network’s breach and offers those affected a literal sense of security.
In a letter posted on the Playstation blog, Stringer apologizes to users about the breach. “As a company we — and I — apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack. Under the leadership of Kazuo Hirai, we have teams working around the clock and around the world to restore your access to those services as quickly, and as safely, as possible,” wrote Stringer.
The Playstation Network has been down since a hack on April 20 that caused over 70 million users’ secured information like names, addresses, telephone numbers, passwords and possibly credit card information, to be at risk. But users were not immediately aware of the reason they couldn’t log on to the network.
“I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It’s a fair question,” wrote Stringer, “As soon as we discovered the potential scope of the intrusion, we shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and hired some of the best technical experts in the field to determine what happened. I wish we could have gotten the answers we needed sooner, but forensic analysis is a complex, time-consuming process. Hackers, after all, do their best to cover their tracks, and it took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had — or had not — been taken.”
Stringer insists that to their knowledge none of the credit card or personal information has been misused and that they are continuing to monitor the situation. But to put customers at ease, Sony is offering some security.
“We are also moving ahead with plans to help protect our customers from identity theft around the world,” wrote Stringerr, “A program for U.S. PlayStation Network and Qriocity customers that includes a $1 million identity theft insurance policy per user was launched earlier today and announcements for other regions will be coming soon.”
The security comes in the form of Debix Inc., an identity theft insurance firm in the U.S. who will use “AllClear ID Plus” for any affected customers. For time lost on the Network, Sony is offering other incentives. “As we have announced, we will be offering a ‘Welcome Back’ package to our customers once our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are up and running. This will include, among other benefits, a month of free PlayStation Plus membership for all PSN customers, as well as an extension of subscriptions for PlayStation Plus and Music Unlimited customers to make up for time lost.”
Stringer stated that he knows this is a frustrating time for users but that the network will be up “in the coming days.” Until then, “Our investigation is ongoing, and we are upgrading our security so that if attacks like this happen again, our defenses will be even stronger,” he wrote. “We are working with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies around the world to apprehend those responsible.”
What do you think about Sony’s reaction time and resolution ideas? Have they forever lost your trust or are you willing to use the PSN again?