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Posted at 09:38 AM ET, 05/06/2011

Sony CEO Stringer apologizes for hacked services, promises ID theft protection


Howard Stringer, chief executive and president of Sony Corporation, apologized to users and launched a $1 million identity theft insurance policy for its PlayStation network users. (DANISH ISMAIL - REUTERS)

Sony has promised that its hacked services will be back up “in the coming days”and has joined with Debix for an identity theft protection program that will insure users against identity theft for up to $ 1 million each.

The company said Thursday that it has started internal testing on its networks, something it calls an “important step” toward restoring its affected services.

On April 26, Sony announced that a Cyber attack on its system was large-scale, and had compromised millions of customers’ personal information. It cautioned that credit card information might have also been stolen. On May 2, Sony Online Entertainment, another Sony division, announced that credit card data had been stolen from its servers as part of an attack.

An apology letter from Sony CEO and president Howard Stringer was posted on the company’s blog Thursday night. The letter said that while Sony has not heard any confirmed reports of personal or credit card information being misused, it will offer a free identity protection plan to any affected user who registers for the program by June 18.

The Sony program offers identity theft protection for one year from the registration date. It includes cyber monitoring with monthly identity status reports, access to privacy and identity theft specialists and a $1 million theft insurance policy per user. Sony will e-mail users eligible for the program with more details. The program is currently only for U.S. users; Sony is working on offering similar programs worldwide.

Stringer also acknowledged customer complaints over Sony’s decisions to delay notifying customers. “I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It’s a fair question,” Stringer wrote, going on to say that, “...it took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had — or had not — been taken.”

This is the first time Stringer has issued a comment on the breach. Spokesman Patrick Seybold has been issuing most of the company’s announcements, while Sony’s popular second-in-command, Kazuo Hirai, has been the public face of Sony at press conferences.

Even as Sony moves to heal its relationship with customers, however, a report from CNET warns that the company may soon face another attack. Citing a source who’s seen chatter from a hacker internet relay chat channel, the report says that a group announced they will attack Sony again and publicize customer names, credit card numbers and addresses taken from the company’s servers.

Related stories:

Sony details PlayStation Network attack, but no timeline for service restoration

Cyber attack was large-scale, Sony says

Sony got hacked; what should I do?

By  |  09:38 AM ET, 05/06/2011

Tags:  Gaming, Security

 
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