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
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
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.