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Sony’s Response to the U.S. House of Representatives

Patrick Seybold's Avatar + Posted by Patrick Seybold on May 04, 2011 // Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media

Today, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing in Washington, DC on “The Threat of Data Theft to American Consumers.”

Kazuo Hirai, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sony Computer Entertainment America, submitted written answers to questions posed by the subcommittee about the large-scale, criminal cyber-attack we have experienced. We wanted to share those answers with you (click here).

In summary, we told the subcommittee that in dealing with this cyber attack we followed four key principles:

  1. Act with care and caution.
  2. Provide relevant information to the public when it has been verified.
  3. Take responsibility for our obligations to our customers.
  4. Work with law enforcement authorities.

We also informed the subcommittee of the following:

  • Sony has been the victim of a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack.
  • We discovered that the intruders had planted a file on one of our Sony Online Entertainment servers named “Anonymous” with the words “We are Legion.”
  • By April 25, forensic teams were able to confirm the scope of the personal data they believed had been taken, and could not rule out whether credit card information had been accessed. On April 26, we notified customers of those facts.
  • As of today, the major credit card companies have not reported any fraudulent transactions that they believe are the direct result of this cyber attack.
  • Protecting individuals’ personal data is the highestpriority and ensuring that the Internet can be made secure for commerce is also essential. Worldwide, countries and businesses will have to come together to ensure the safety of commerce over the Internet and find ways to combat cybercrime and cyber terrorism.
  • We are taking a number of steps to prevent future breaches, including enhanced levels of data protection and encryption; enhanced ability to detect software intrusions, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns; additional firewalls; establishment of a new data center in an undisclosed location with increased security; and the naming of a new Chief Information Security Officer.

We told the subcommittee about our intent to offer complimentary identity theft protection to U.S. account holders and detailed the “Welcome Back” program that includes free downloads, 30 days of free membership in the
PlayStation Plus premium subscription service; 30 days of free service for Music Unlimited subscribers; and extending PlayStation Plus and Music Unlimited subscriptions for the number of days services were unavailable.

We are working around the clock to have some PlayStation Network services restored and we’ll be providing specific details shortly. We hope this update is helpful to you, and we will continue to keep you posted as we work to restore our network and provide you with both the entertainment and the security you deserve.

//Add Your Own

341 Comments

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1

+ TomHoang on May 4th, 2011 at 8:55 am said:

I just wanna know when PSN will be back up.


2

+ Cyb3rfr34k-iso on May 4th, 2011 at 8:55 am said:

working around the clock…
you better be working around your network…
and get it back online.


3

+ jazzyrider on May 4th, 2011 at 8:56 am said:

Thank you for this info to Congress. Hopefully Sony’s commitment to service to its customers is foremost important while bringing back services is next.


4

+ UltraRazpacho on May 4th, 2011 at 8:56 am said:

Nice update.

Now one on when PlayStation Network will be back up will be highly appreciated.


5

+ Gskyace on May 4th, 2011 at 8:56 am said:

Just wait PSN to be back online.


6

+ starfox_6456303 on May 4th, 2011 at 8:56 am said:

do a barrel roll…


7

+ nino1911 on May 4th, 2011 at 8:56 am said:

anonymous,interesting find.


8

+ hamzaXrevenge on May 4th, 2011 at 8:57 am said:

first


9

+ MireilleCO on May 4th, 2011 at 8:57 am said:

All very interesting… but when will it be back up?


10

+ jeffsmither on May 4th, 2011 at 8:57 am said:

is the store going to have a huge update when its back on?


11

+ Cyb3rfr34k-iso on May 4th, 2011 at 8:57 am said:

LOL starfox_6456303 XDD


12

+ SA_Lowell on May 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am said:

Well this is a nice surprise. I didn’t expect to see this much detail about the intrusion. Can’t wait to play as Kratos online in Mortal Kombat.


13

+ bigdaddykraven on May 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am said:

Just chill folks. They want the PSN back up as badly as anyone else. Every day its down they lose money in sales of their games, video content sponsorship and advertisement etc.

Funny how people will complain too. “When will it be back up?” Then if they tell you a date and can’t make it. “Why’d you tell us if you couldn’t get it up.” RELAX everyone.


14

+ Misanthrope1991 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am said:

If it is done by Anonymous, then they probably did not take credit card information from consumers. They were probably looking for information on Sony executives due to the legal action taken against geohotz. Do not take my word for it though. :/


15

+ kirafung on May 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am said:

Hopefully It will be up by Friday, cuz I want to play online during the weekend!


16

+ spelarenjoel on May 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am said:

Hope that it will be up soon…


17

+ nYcFrEeWiLL82 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am said:

PSN BETTER BE BACK ONLINE THIS WEEK..IF NOT..I WONT BUY ANYTHING FROM THE PSN STORE for TWO MONTHS! >:/


18

+ Arcadia-Zer0 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:01 am said:

Thanks for taking the info to Congress. Please take your time beefing up the security at Sony, the PSN can come up at a later date (the downtime doesn’t really affect me at all). Thank you Sony for being so committed to your customers.


19

+ tonydamiani on May 4th, 2011 at 9:02 am said:

ha Anos is behind this go figure ugh


20

+ Ryanshizzle on May 4th, 2011 at 9:04 am said:

You guys said it would be up in a week last tuesday. Here we are Wednesday and your feeding us no timeline. Wow, how rediculous


21

+ KINGof210 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:04 am said:

I second what Arcadia-Zer0 said.


22

+ monyking on May 4th, 2011 at 9:07 am said:

see? this is progress. I don’t know why people get so angry. Just relax.


23

+ titoboy666 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:08 am said:

Well I think that Sony is doing a great job in handling this situation. I prefer that they take their time and make sure it’s more secure than ever before. This kind of breach could happen to any organisation. Keep up the good work Sony.


24

+ Jedi_Jeff on May 4th, 2011 at 9:10 am said:

Keep fighting the good fight Sony!
I hope you thoroughly investigate the ambulance chasers out there trying to make money off this. It would be interesting to see if they have any ties to the hackers responsible for the outage.


25

+ AwardTour on May 4th, 2011 at 9:10 am said:

Why is it taking so long to have a ETA?


26

+ xPREDICTIONx on May 4th, 2011 at 9:10 am said:

[DELETED] it, im getting an xbox. Gears 3.


27

+ ssmarcos3 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:11 am said:

wow just wow


28

+ somethingatt on May 4th, 2011 at 9:14 am said:

From a forum I go to, someone linked this:
http://www.cspan.org/Events/A-Look-at-Threat-of-Data-Theft/10737421279-1/

Live feed from investigation into Sony / Data Theft.


29

+ WarHawk_ on May 4th, 2011 at 9:15 am said:

Well looks like Anonymous was up 2 no good, can’t confirm it.. but we can definitely say that they were influential.
I’m just happy you guys are working 2 fix the problem and that we are actually getting some gift in return, I wasn’t expecting anything but it’s still nice.. I’ll just be happy when PSN is back, Crysis 2 and MK9 online have missed me after all.. (or is that the other way @ ?? =P)


30

+ lcmnick on May 4th, 2011 at 9:16 am said:

We just wanna know when PSN will be up :(


31

+ LordRaoh on May 4th, 2011 at 9:16 am said:

I knew it was those dirty bastards anonymous. Where are all their apologists now?


32

+ xPREDICTIONx on May 4th, 2011 at 9:18 am said:

How is there not a set date?


33

+ LordRaoh on May 4th, 2011 at 9:18 am said:

Thank god I grew up playing offline games. I have a lot of trophies to earn,campaigns to beat on my ps3 as well as games i purchased off of steam during holiday sales i haven’t completed yet.


34

+ VenomUK on May 4th, 2011 at 9:18 am said:

Please don’t keep us in the dark. When will the PSN be back up?


35

+ ultratroll on May 4th, 2011 at 9:18 am said:

At least I’m practicing MK9 like nobody’s business.


36

+ xPREDICTIONx on May 4th, 2011 at 9:18 am said:

Give us a date!


37

+ LordRaoh on May 4th, 2011 at 9:19 am said:

My advise to sony and other businesses. Make a mandatory shutdown day of your systems yearly (I wouldn’t mind if it were quarterly) to perform extensive routine security and stability checks of your systems.


38

+ pitythefool852 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:20 am said:

Thanks for the update. I speak for most of my immediate home and PSN friends when I say that most of us would just like to know when PSN is coming back online :) We’ve got some Uncharted 2 MP waiting to be played.

This article does highlight why I personally am not comfortable with the support that many people give mob activists such as Anonymous. Just look at these attacks on PSN. When Anonymous thought that people were supporting them they were happily posting V for Vendetta-style videos on YouTube, telling everyone what they’d done. When public opinion quickly swung against them – instead of against Sony – Anonymous quickly announced that they’d stopped their attacks as they never wanted to hurt us, and think that they can avoid responsibility for what they’d done…


39

+ pitythefool852 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:21 am said:

…Now, there’s evidence that Anonymous are the ones who have not only messed up our online gaming, but also stolen large amounts of personal data and banking details. What will happen now? Will they deny it was them? Will they disavow all knowledge of this particular attack, or will they stick to their usual “we are not responsible for the actions of individual members”, and find protection in their “anonymity”.

So, I don’t really get why this “group” has any support. When they do things mildly popular, they promote their “group”, and when they mess up they hide and don’t accept any responsibility.

I’d prefer to put my faith in the “nasty corporation” Sony, rather than any of this generation of “hackivists”.

[(PS: I don’t think you’re really “nasty” :) ]


40

+ JamesL007 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:24 am said:

Interesting find there of the Anon and all that data, but still this seems like a cover to blame them, I mean really would you leave your calling card at the scene of a crime this big I mean stupid or not I don’t think anyone is that dumb or maybe so who knows.

I will be glad when it is back, because it will be better then ever and more secure for us, and if your concerned just use the PSN cards from now on to make purchases or maybe they will allow payment via paypal at last and solve that a little for some.

All I know is I am still here and not going anywhere fast, I just hate how this happened so close to the E3 stuff for June and with all the games launching this month I wonder how the store being offline will affect DLC codes for games since they are handled via the store. I mean hate to know my pre-order for LA Noire and I can’t use the code for redeeming until like after the 25th or so when the PS store comes back to us.


41

+ HeLLeVeN11 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:24 am said:

Already wednesday and still no PSN, chances are we won’t have it back online this week.


42

+ BrianC6234 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:24 am said:

I want Sony to start working with all the governments around the world. We need to make the Internet a lot more secure and make laws that allow law enforcement to cross international borders. They have to create a department that works with countries to catch these criminal hackers.


43

+ Spidey817 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:25 am said:

It just got real, Anonymous. I hope the FBI kicking your doors in gives you all the “lolz” you’ve been looking for.


44

+ VixDiesel on May 4th, 2011 at 9:25 am said:

We really just want an update as to when it’s going to be back. You had said a week ago that within a week it would be up, that self imposed deadline came and went. Some sort of status update would be nice along with clarifications what’s going to happen as far as those of us who no longer have our original ps3’s and logging in.


45

+ Carl-G on May 4th, 2011 at 9:26 am said:

Any ‘GAMING’ news on this site anymore?(and the other PS.Blogs worldwide) I know this is important, but you know i still can play games on my PS3 which i have been doing since PSN went down. It’s like everything has stopped because of this. Well it hasn’t :D Come on start doing what SONY does best and show us the games that are coming please;)

Good luck SONY anyway;)


46

+ somethingatt on May 4th, 2011 at 9:26 am said:

@ptythefool852: Superbly put, sir. That is exactly how I feel towards “Anonymous” and what they stand for.


47

+ Mr_Evo on May 4th, 2011 at 9:28 am said:

So it looks like Anonymous was responsible (sigh) well i never believed them when they said it wasn’t them in the first place. I would hate to be them right now, what with the F.B.I and Homeland Security on their ass.


48

+ somethingatt on May 4th, 2011 at 9:28 am said:

But enough about those attention loving spoiled cowards, we all just want PSN to be back up.


49

+ jbritt665 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:29 am said:

For those asking about a date, Sony did say ” by the end of the week.” Did they not? My prediction: May 6 or May 9. Plus, they also have to deal with Sony’s other “attack.” (SOE). Folks, it will be here soon!


50

+ eyesofreality03 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:31 am said:

people stop crying about the psn not being up, these guys are doing what they can to enhance our cyber protection. heres a thought, go outside and enjoy reality for a change. i for one can wait as long as needed for services to be restored.

thanks for the update sony, keep up the hard work.


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