Sony Apologizes for Network Security Breach

Sony executives bowed in apology Sunday for a security breach in the company's PlayStation Network that caused the loss of personal data of some 77 million accounts on the online service.

"We deeply apologize for the inconvenience we have caused," said Kazuo Hirai, chief of Sony Corp.'s PlayStation video game unit, who was among the three executives who bowed for several seconds at the company's Tokyo headquarters in the traditional style of a Japanese apology.

Hirai said parts of the service would be back this week and that the company would beef up security measures. But he and other executives acknowledged that not enough had been done in security precautions, and promised that the company's network services were under a basic review to prevent a recurrence.

Hirai said the FBI and other authorities had been contacted to start an investigation into what the company called "a criminal cyber attack" on Sony's data center in San Diego, California.

Sony said account information, including names, birth dates, email addresses and log-in information, was compromised for players using its PlayStation Network. Hirai asked all users to change their passwords.

Hirai reiterated what the company said last week - that even though it had no direct evidence the data were even taken, it cannot rule out the possibility.

He said data from 10 million credit cards were believed to be involved, and that Sony still does not know whether information was stolen.

Sony has added software monitoring and enhanced data protection and encryption as new security measures, he said. The company said it would offer "welcome back" freebies such as complimentary downloads and 30 days of free service around the world to show remorse and appreciation.

"I see my work as first making sure Sony can regain the trust from our users," Hirai said. The network, which serves both the PlayStation video game machines and Sony's Qriocity movie and music services, has been shut down since April 20. It is a system that links gamers worldwide in live play, and also allows users to upgrade and download games and other content.

Hirai said Sony suspected it was under attack by hackers starting April 17.

According to Sony, of the 77 million PlayStation Network accounts, about 36 million are in the U.S. and elsewhere in the Americas, while 32 million are in Europe and 9 million in Asia, mostly in Japan.

Pressure is mounting on Sony to restore services and compensate players.

U.S. lawmakers have sent a letter to Hirai demanding answers by May 6 about the security breach and Sony's response.

Hirai said he had read the online version of the letter and would answer the questions as soon as possible.

Last month, U.S. lawyers filed a lawsuit against Sony on behalf of lead plaintiff Kristopher Johns for negligent protection of personal data and failure to inform players in a timely fashion that their credit card information may have been stolen. The lawsuit seeks class-action status.

Hirai said the network problems would not hurt or delay Sony's product plans, including a tablet device that looks like Apple's iPad, an upgrade to the PlayStation Portable and a gradual global rollout of the Qriocity service.

Hirai also denied Sony had purposely held off on releasing information about network problems, a criticism that some have expressed.

He said the service was shut down to prevent damage, and that time was needed to find out what had happened and who was responsible.

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How does one apologize for "inconcenience" when he has just exposed 77 million people to the serious issues involved with identity theft? "Inconvenience"??? How about we "inconvenience" HIM by withholding his paycheck until all of the potential accounts have been cleared?

May 02 2011 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the Playstation Network was free anyway. Why would we want 30-days of free service? Maybe a coupon for $59 so we could buy a game disc or a couple of Blu-Rays? What about compensation for my lost use of service on my Netflix account? Going on 2 weeks I've paid for Netflix and I can only watch it on my computer (which, by the way, only does EVERYTHING!)

May 02 2011 at 9:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pigtool's comment

I can still get on netflix

May 02 2011 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The internet is a beautiful thing,all the information one needs can be found there ; it is also an ugly thing, all the misinformation one seeks can be found there ; making each of us responsible for finding the truth,using what can"t be found on the internet ; common sense.And common sense tells us the internet is not,can not,and will not ever be secure.Proof for this can be found on the internet.

May 02 2011 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Stupidity reigns! In this time when there is so much information that can be made available digitally, anyone with common sense would understand that there is ALWAYS the threat of information - we live in that sort of world now. Why didn't the "experts" at SONY remember this? There is no excuse for their stupidity and utter lack of thought, or even of the consideration for the protection of information they have allowed to be stolen by hackers - made it easy for thieves.

May 02 2011 at 4:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not sure why so many want to blame Sony because some selfish hackers f'd everything up. I'm not happy PSN is down but if they get it right what's the big deal? I've had both th PS3 & Xbox & I recently gave up on Microsoft. To get all the things I have on my PS3 (including a 320G hard drive) I'd have to spend way more upgrading the Xbox. The graphics are better & the o/l gaming is FREE. Relax folks & blame those who deserve it-the hackers...

May 02 2011 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Japan apologizes alot these days. Sad thing, after the damage is done, saying I'm sorry doesn't seem to cut it.

May 02 2011 at 2:00 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Frank's comment

Shut the **** up you conservative piece of ****.

May 02 2011 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


May 02 2011 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think I'll go back to my x-box.

May 02 2011 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nothing but lies! No one would stand up and tell the truth if they had a pistol heald to their head!

May 02 2011 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh Good. They are sorry.

May 02 2011 at 7:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply