It's been a rough few weeks for Sony and its customers that
rely on the PlayStation Network (PSN) service for online multiplayer and
numerous other online services. PSN initially went offline on April 21 after Sony
discovered a security breach that resulted in the loss of 77 million
customer records. An additional 24 million accounts were compromised
on the Sony Online Entertainment service.
I. Services come back
PSN is back
online for customers living in the United States, Canada, and Europe; so gamers should be happy to hear that they can now continue to race, compete,
kill, and trash talk with gamers around the globe. In order to access the new
and reinvigorated PSN, however, customers will have to update
their PS3's to firmware v3.61. In addition, Sony understandably forces
customers to change their password to access PSN.
II. Sony apologizes
Sony Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai also took
the time to address customers and express regret for the trouble this
security breach has caused for the past three weeks. "I'd like to send my
sincere regret for the inconvenience this incident has caused you, and want to
thank you all for the kind patience you've shown as we worked through the
restoration process," said Hirai. "I can't thank you enough for your
patience and support during this time. We know even the most loyal customers
have been frustrated by this process and are anxious to use their Sony products
and services again.
Hirai also attempted to reassure customers that it takes
security seriously and that "Our consumers' safety remains our number one
priority." Hirai concluded by stating, "We want to assure our
customers that their personal information is being protected with some of the
best security technologies available today, so that everyone can feel
comfortable enjoying all that PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have to
III. Now what?
It’s one thing to lose usernames, passwords, and email
addresses in a security breach, but Sony experienced far worse. Not only were
the full names and addresses of customers compromised, but credit card data was
also obtained for some user accounts. As a result, Sony has come under
pressure by members of the U.S. Senate and is the focus
of a class-action lawsuit. In addition, retailers around the globe reported
that PS3 returns spiked during the PSN outage, with many customers trading
in their Sony consoles for Xbox 360s made by Microsoft.
However, George "GeoHot" Hotz explained
back in late April that Sony has no one but itself to blame for this whole
fault lies with the (Sony) executives who declared a war on hackers, laughed at
the idea of people penetrating the fortress that once was Sony, whined
incessantly about piracy, and kept hiring more lawyers when they really needed
to hire good security experts. Alienating the hacker community is not a good
Sony is adamant about protecting its customer data, and we
applaud them for that. However, it may take more than a few
months of free online services for customers to have full faith in Sony
quote: Why is that exactly? It's because of poor security on several levels.