Sony Head Apologizes for PlayStation Hack

In the wake of a massive breach, lawsuits, and global regulatory investigations and probes, Sony just issued an apology and announced a three-part plan—part one is the apology—in attempts to correct its recent historic <"">PlayStation Network hack. Forbes said the plan consists of the apology and a tightening of security as well as a video game and music giveaways.

Last week, we wrote that Sony ultimately admitted that a hacker accessed the servers that maintained the private information of its PlayStation Network customers. Sony learned of the breach April 17-19, said The Wall Street Journal last week. Service was stopped after the breach; however, it took until April 26 for Sony to alert its customers. Its credit card databases were encrypted; however, rumors are swirling that credit card information might have been stolen by the hacker. There is also concern that the hacking could turn viral if the hacker finds passwords for other services—banks, emails, and other sites—which would enable hacking of those sites, as well, noted the Journal.

This weekend, Sony held a press conference in Tokyo, including a formal apology and a deep bow—described as a 90-degree bow, by Forbes—from a number of Sony’s key executives. The head its networked product division, Kazuo Hirai, started the conference saying, ”we’d like to extend our apologies to the many Playstation Network and Qtriocity service users who we inconvenienced and worried because we potentially compromised their customer data. We offer our sincerest apologies,” quoted Forbes.

Spokesman Patrick Seybold, included details via press release on the firm’s Playstation Network blog, about how Sony will respond to the breach, including putting in place new security levels, amending how it manages its customer data encryption, and “appointing a chief information security officer,” wrote Forbes.

But, it was Sony’s “Welcome Back” program that received the broadest consumer response, garnering hundreds of posts to its offer of 30 days of downloads and premium gaming and music downloads, at no cost to users, said Forbes. The “Welcome Back” program is expected be introduced once the Playstation Network is restored, in increments, online over the next week.

While many consumers are thrilled over 30 days of freebies. CNBC says that the cost to creditors could be as high as $300 million; the complete impact of the breach remains unknown. Sony acknowledged that upwards of 10 million credit cards may have been compromised, with more users’ passwords, email addresses, and other nonfinancial data likely compromised, wrote Forbes.

As we’ve mentioned, Sony says it continues to work with law enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said it is speaking with Sony, but would not say if a probe has been initiated, said the Journal. Members of Congress have also taken notice, said PC World. Mary Bono Mack of California, chair of the House Subcommittee for Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, just opened an investigation into the breach; Representative Bobby Rush of Illinois and Senator Tom Carper of Delaware have since begun urging for more intense cyber-security legislation; and Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut wrote to Sony CEO Howard Stringer, said PC World.

Globally, regulators have opened investigations into the breach, including Britain’s Information Commissioner’s office and Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, said PC World.

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