Sony has formally apologised for leaking the personal details of its 77 million PSN users to criminals, and is planning on offering free content and a month of free PlayStation Plus membership in the hopes its victims will forget all about it.
SCE CEO Kaz Hirai was present at a press conference to give one of the grovelling apologies Japanese are fond of giving in the hopes everyone will forget about what it is they just did and will in all probability keep on doing:
We offer our sincere apologies to the users whom we have troubled and caused a great deal of anxiety to.
In addition to the performance visible at the press conference, Sony is offering free access to unspecified PSN content (thought to include games), and a free month of PlayStation Plus premium PSN membership and a month of Qriocity access.
However, as these offerings require users to actually supply or continue to supply Sony with their personal details, there is likely to be a certain amount of resistance – the free month of Plus membership has already been derided as being little more than advertising.
Just whether credit card details were lost is still not being made clear – Sony says personal data, including hashed passwords, was definitely compromised, credit card numbers and expiry dates “may” have been leaked, and credit card security definitely were not leaked.
Sony denies any fraudulent card use has occurred, although how they can be so sure when they cannot confirm whether the card details were leaked or not is not clear.
Sony has also for the first time (very quietly) given users the ability to fully close their PSN accounts (although only by asking customer services to do so), which was previously “not possible.”
There has been speculation that the inability to close a PSN account was a cheap ploy to inflate the number of PSN users for PR/IR purposes, a practice now clearly untenable.
Sony is keen to blame the hackers rather than its own lacklustre security, saying it was “an act of high-tech cyber-terrorism” and revealing that it has enlisted the FBI to help find it a suitable scapegoat.
Regarding the potential connection between the attack and the actions of cyber-hoodlums “Anonymous,” Sony is non-committal:
Anonymous claim they had nothing to do with it, do you believe this?
As we’ve been saying, we’re not sure whether Anonymous have anything to do with this. They were active in the background, but there is nothing to indicate they were directly or indirectly implicated in this intrusion.
Who actually committed the attack is a complete mystery, although they should by now be filthy rich with or without the card numbers – a short sell of Sony stock just prior to executing the attack would have been enough to see to this.
Sony for its part is currently being investigated by privacy commissioners and opportunist lawyers the world over, so it is unlikely its troubles will end with a game giveaway and some bowing and scraping at a press conference.