May 2, 2011 in Nation/World

Sony apologizes for PlayStation breach

Yuri Kageyama Associated Press
 

TOKYO – Sony executives bowed in apology Sunday for a security breach in the company’s PlayStation Network that compromised the 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 held their heads low 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 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.

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.

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.

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