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The Japanese government won't let Sony restart its online services as it's unsure if the company is doing enough to protect Japanese consumers. The PlayStation Network was recently restored in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and other locations.  (Source:
Government says it won't authorize reboot unless Sony shows what precisely it's doing to protect customers

Citizens across Japan, Europe, and America fell victim to a massive breach of privacy thanks to lax security at Sony Corp. (6758).  As many as 101 million individuals are thought to have lost personal information including hashed (but not salted) passwords, plaintext usernames, addresses, and birth dates.  It is unclear whether Sony also lost tens of millions of other customers’ credit card information.

For American, Canadian, and European customers the PlayStation Network (PSN) is now back online after being shutdown for over three weeks while Sony tried to assess the extent of the damage and secure its systems.

But in Japan the network is still down and may remain so for some time.  The Japanese government has refused to let Sony restart the network without providing more explicit proof that it is securing the network.

Kazushige Nobutani, the director of the Media and Content Industry department at the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, comments, "We met with Sony on May 6 and 13, and basically we want two things from them. The first is preventative measures. As of May 13, Sony was incomplete in exercising measures that they said they will do on the May 1 press conference."

The second key point was that the Japanese government is demanding Sony address what steps it’s taking to protect customers whose credit card data may have been stolen.  Sony Japan has been less specific about what measures it has been taking, as opposed to Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC , which announced that it would be providing customers with a year of free identity theft coverage.

The PlayStation Network is currently back online in Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East, though it remains down in Japan and some other locations (such as China and South Korea).

Sony is also working to restore its Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) service, which was also compromised as part of the breach.  SOE offers services for certain streaming music and video offerings and also supports online games like DC Universe.

The company is currently struggling to clear the cloud of negative publicity.  It is currently facing several high profile class action lawsuits internationally, in addition to multiple government inquiries.  Customers have reportedly also been returning their PS3s and trying to trade-in their consoles for cash towards purchasing Xbox 360s.

No charges have yet been filed against those involved in the data breach.  Sony claims the online hacker collective Anonymous might have been involved, but the majority of members of the collective rebuked this claim.  Sony has presented no evidence indicating that it's figured out exactly who was involved.

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RE: gov't protecting its citizens
By adiposity on 5/16/2011 2:46:34 PM , Rating: 3
And citizens in these regions seem to have the right idea. Some are indeed returning (or trading in) their PS3s and/or cancelling their service. And those affected are also filing suit against Sony.

How, exactly, is it the "right idea" to "cancel your service" or trade in your PS3?

I mean, I certainly don't begrudge someone trading in or returning their PS3 if they are that upset by this breach. On the other hand, I don't see it as a foregone conclusion. Your personal data has already been compromised. What good will canceling your service do now?

In the future you can use PSN cards if you are really concerned. I just got into my PSN account and observed that my "personal info" was deliberately inaccurate (e.g., "123 No Street"). So, it seems I was not required to enter my name and address.

I don't mean to downplay the seriousness of this happening, but I feel it is a bit cavalier to suggest people should just trade in their PS3s and stop using the service. The service has a lot of value, and this breach doesn't change that. Most people trading in are just angry at Sony, not necessarily making a rational decision.

RE: gov't protecting its citizens
By adiposity on 5/16/2011 2:47:53 PM , Rating: 2
I should add, I had a CC on file with Sony and purchased things from the store. But I did not have to have a real address in the system to do that. Which is kind of odd...

RE: gov't protecting its citizens
By bah12 on 5/16/2011 5:16:47 PM , Rating: 3
I should add, I had a CC on file with Sony and purchased things from the store. But I did not have to have a real address in the system to do that. Which is kind of odd...

Just shows you that they are so laxed on security they are not even validating your CC against your address like virtually every other online dealer would. Essentially all they are using is the CCV code, and nothing else.

This is the core of my biggest issue with all of this. Sony's security is crap. Period!! Unencrypted data, unsalted hashes, and not even the common courtesy to validate your CC # off of more than what can be clearly found on the card. I'd blame the robbers for bank robbery no doubt, but at some point you have to start pointing fingers to the asshat that left the vault open.

RE: gov't protecting its citizens
By erple2 on 5/16/2011 6:05:13 PM , Rating: 3
And that should dictate your choice to do business with that company. I choose to no longer do business with that company. I'm sure they'll lose lots of sleep over their lost minor revenues (maybe 50 bucks a year) over my lost business. But as a consumer, that's how I vote in the business world.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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