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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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201

+ xzile on May 4th, 2011 at 5:39 pm said:

@ 191 I have a japanese account on our U.S. server but thanks. They were saying that they successfully tested it, not that it was on. they are going to run tests before they cut it on to prevent more backlash. The media has put out so much trash that I am wary of any info that I read. Thanks for trying. I do apologize if I offended anyone, because that is not my intentions ever. I am bigger than that.

http://www.agamingsite.com/2011/05/sony-tested-psn-today-trophies-synced/


202

+ KingLazy93 on May 4th, 2011 at 5:47 pm said:

Hurry up Sony


203

+ Budapesti on May 4th, 2011 at 5:50 pm said:

Sorry Sony, but putting the blame on ‘Anonymous’ as if Anons were some kind of organized collective is hugely lame. Either the ‘We are Legion’ file was placed there as a red herring, or it’s simply not true. This wasn’t the work of bored script kiddies, it was a professional job designed to phish credit card details.
Has anyone at Sony ever BEEN to 4chan? Anons can’t agree on ANYTHING, let alone mastermind something of this magnitude. Even the well-publicized Scientology raids split opinion, and seriously – who in their right mind supports Scientology?
Stop passing the buck, Sony. Bite the bullet and accept the fact that you’re probably going to have some major class action lawsuits heading your way.


204

+ starfox_6456303 on May 4th, 2011 at 5:58 pm said:

99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer, take one down pass it around 98 bottles of beer on the wall


205

+ i_like_toast on May 4th, 2011 at 6:00 pm said:

You don’t have a clue what Phishing is?

Anons ability to “agree” on something doesn’t stop idiots seeking attention from doing things “in the name of anon”. It’s what happens when you take the most pathetic people on the internet and give them a place to call home. They terrorize and harass anyone who isn’t in their bubble and deny any responsibility if the public didn’t find humor in their acts.


206

+ yellow_bugs on May 4th, 2011 at 6:08 pm said:

working around the clock? okay


207

+ xxnike629xx on May 4th, 2011 at 6:13 pm said:

Here’s my theory..

If Sony says to “expect” or “We plan to…” in regards to a date on when the PSN and or the PS Store will be back up, I always add another week to that as a more accurate date.

That’s what they seem to be doing.

When “tomorrow” arrives, it’s always tomorrow.


208

+ digitalman123 on May 4th, 2011 at 6:27 pm said:

@130: Truer words were never spoken.
Come on! And the only two trophies I require for the Portal 2 platinum are ONLINE ONLY! Hurry up and give us PSN!


209

+ DZORMAGEN on May 4th, 2011 at 6:34 pm said:

1st it was 1-2 days, then it was 1-2 weeks, then it will be 1-2 months, after that 1-2 years, and then 1-2 decades LOL!!


210

+ digitalman123 on May 4th, 2011 at 6:35 pm said:

My guess? We’ll get an update tomorrow here on the blog, saying that PSN should be up soon, and it’ll be up on Friday. Just sayin’…


211

+ digitalman123 on May 4th, 2011 at 6:36 pm said:

Oh, guess my last comment was 200th. Woo…


212

+ duke301 on May 4th, 2011 at 6:38 pm said:

#183, I agree with you. Between Sony and Microsoft, I believe that Sony is the lesser of two evils. Once PSN finally comes back online, I don’t think we have to worry about anything happening on a scale this large again. If it does, Sony will likely be finished in the online gaming department, and I’m sure they know it too. So for that reason, I am going to stick with Sony. I have also invested hundreds of dollars in games for the PS3 which will be worthless on the 360. Microsoft can keep their Xbox because I’m not buying.


213

+ Jin_Kusanagi on May 4th, 2011 at 6:49 pm said:

Anonymous already said they didn’t do it http://www.gamespot.com/news/6309997.html
However you found a file with their name…is a member acting alone, someone using their name, or what?

Whatever…I just want PSN back


214

+ Lopez9577 on May 4th, 2011 at 6:56 pm said:

My guess is that the next update sony gives us will say “we will gety most services running within the next week”


215

+ K1773r37f on May 4th, 2011 at 7:20 pm said:

I have to agree with duke301.

I am sure that M$ would never voluntarily take down eXBox live to thwart an active attack. It might affect the user experience. And the user community might figure something may be afoot. Nah, they’d just let it go on and never let on that your data might have been or was compromised.

Sony threw the switch once they realized the have been breeched. I, for one don’t want them to come back online until they have better security and better intrusion detection and reporting.

With the right edge of the network monitoring, they should have been alerted earlier that an intrusion attack was in progress. Instead they did not find out until they examined what sounds to be database transaction logs.

That is where I fault Sony. In not having adequate edge of network monitoring in place. I do not fault them for actions taken after they found out about the breech.

I expect Sony to take the time to get it right this time.


216

+ Bimpet on May 4th, 2011 at 7:30 pm said:

So…How about any actual game news? It’s like this site is a psn addict that can’t get its fix.


217

+ BEASTXJASON on May 4th, 2011 at 7:34 pm said:

I just wanted to say this is getting old already. I lost a lot of friends to the darkside (xbox,wii) and its just a mess. Capcom announce monster hunter ps3 so I can play what I bought my ps3 for in the first place (Tri). Ugg <—beats face on desk


218

+ spocar on May 4th, 2011 at 7:34 pm said:

I heard that someone is trying to suit PS please tell me thats not true


219

+ CaptenMidnite on May 4th, 2011 at 7:55 pm said:

Sony better smarten up. Don’t screw your customers with cheap security.


220

+ ssmarcos3 on May 4th, 2011 at 7:59 pm said:

dam sony i am sorry to say this but i you really to do some huge feature update if you want customers to remain or to attract news ones cause all this time off is not looking good for you


221

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 8:22 pm said:

Sony’s public disclosures have not been sufficient to quell customer concerns about the theft.

“Sony needs to make a statement to consumers: ‘You will not be harmed, and we will indemnify you against any harm,’ And they just have not done that in any of their apologies.”


222

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 8:33 pm said:

AND stop your blaming game as well. YOU not any one else is responsible for keeping our data Safe. YOU! must take responsibility for your own actions and stop passing the buck.
“Sony says “Anonymous” set stage for data theft. So they set the stage, So what. You are responsible. No one else is responsible for the breach. Take responsibility and own up for your mistakes.
I have never met such disrespect for the consumers as this.

The FBI is working with federal prosecutors in San Diego as agents try to determine the facts and circumstances of the alleged crimes, an FBI spokesman has said. Analysts have said the incident, in which customers could decide to replace their credit cards, could cost Sony more than $1.5 billion.
People there are 2 investigations going on, One against the hackers and one against SONY.
Sony, Stop making excuses and start owning up .


223

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 8:45 pm said:

What we want to (See) Sony’s actual Scores
Growth 5-year annual revenue growth > (15%) 0.1% Fail
1-year revenue growth > (12%) 4.2% Fail
Margins Gross margin > (35%) 24.2% Fail
Net margin > (15%) 1% Fail
Balance sheet Debt to equity 1.3 1.01 Fail
Opportunities Return on equity > (15%) 3.6% Fail
Valuation Normalized P/E (2%) 1.1% Fail
5-year dividend growth > (10%) 0% Fail

Total Score 2 out of 10


224

+ Autoxfool on May 4th, 2011 at 8:46 pm said:

Where are our game updates on this blog?

So PSN goes down, and everything else stops on the blog? Makes…perfect…..sense…..


225

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

@ datastorm98632
google, read, google, copy, paste, playstation copy, paste, google, copy, playstation, read, paste, google…


226

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 8:58 pm said:

In case what you are wondering in what was posted above, some people may not understand in how investors chose whom they will or will not support.

Sony’s past experience clearly demonstrates that it can come up with hits. The question, though, is when the next one will come. Until it does, Sony will continue to struggle to survive its missteps.

You see my fiends Sony is under Scrutiny right now. What they say or do will mark a positive or a negative for the company. what I post here has very little bearing on the company. What I post , I post in hopes to educate you that this whole thing goes beyond gaming. And also in hopes to tell you who can really pull the plug on the entire thing.
In effect, Sony isn’t the only deciding factor in what Sony Does. True they are accountable for what they say and do and for creating games, and digital devices However, when investors start to question Sony’s practices and such, that is something that is taken very seriously. Also these lawsuits and investigations could open up other areas as well such as the removal of the Other OS and a great deal of other things.
It is all fun and games until some one gets hurt.


227

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

IS THE PSN GOING TO BACK UP THIS WEEK?


228

+ Cyb3rfr34k-iso on May 4th, 2011 at 9:01 pm said:

No! nYcFrEeWiLL82


229

+ Cyb3rfr34k-iso on May 4th, 2011 at 9:04 pm said:

or you can ask datastorm98632,
he look like he know all the answers…
:P


230

+ nYcFrEeWiLL82 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:05 pm said:

HOW YOU KNOW #217? PROVE YOURSELF!


231

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:13 pm said:

I myself, all you see is a bunch of pixels that form words, and an avatar . Some of what you read you may like or not, some you may agree with or not, but non the less rather you like what you see on the screen or hate what you see on the screen , one thing is for certain Sony has a great deal of damage control on there hands and they are legally responsible for what they are legally responsible for. And now the judgment On Sony begins. How great that judgment will be depends on many factors and I dare say this will take at least be a while. As for the PSN, Well it depends on many factors and those are well out of our Control.
So Sony, are you ready to man up? are you ready to make a sincere apology? Or Would you rather Continue in “Passing the Buck” which will only harm you more?


232

+ ubetter on May 4th, 2011 at 9:15 pm said:

You don’t know what you had, until it’s gone. Miss ya psn.


233

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:19 pm said:

No, I do not know all the Answers, And I need not prove myself to any one. You take the data, you decide what to do with it, you do the research.


234

+ Jack_Ryman on May 4th, 2011 at 9:21 pm said:

@220

GIVE IT A BLOODY REST, MAN. You’ve been WAILING NONSTOP ABOUT THE SAME DAMN THING since this whole fiasco began. Jeezus H. Roosevelt, if you hated Sony THAT much, SELL THE DAMN THING ALREADY, sue them if you want! Just shut the hell up already. You’re the worst possible troll ever…you’re not even funny, TRY TO BE FUNNY AT LEAST.

WORST

TROLL

EVER.


235

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:26 pm said:

As for me knowing it all , lol, I am just a poor humble farmer.


236

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:36 pm said:

a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[3] The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted”.
I Do not think I fit the troll as you describe.
I am very on topic. my messages are not intended to be provocative, at least I do not wish them to be.
I am simply stating there are 2 sides to every story.
You shouldn’t allow what others say bother you so much.


237

+ mixedkidbx on May 4th, 2011 at 9:39 pm said:

………… can we please have PSN back online……….


238

+ RoddMorT on May 4th, 2011 at 9:42 pm said:

@223 totally agree with you

i just LOL`D with what I saw right next to “LEAVE A COMMENT” ===========================>

OPEN TO EVERYONE, BUT DONT BE A JERK!

Gotta say there are lots of jerks and trolls around these days.
Cant they be any supportive? If thats the case, go play your XBOX or find something better to do than keep posting your hatred and frustration here.

Sony is not there doing nothing, Sony is not there watching passively whats going on.

For Gods sake, being without PSN is already bad enough, sotake this chance to do other things, play offline games, get some plats, whatever… or simply go be a troll somewhere else but here.


239

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:49 pm said:

Sony Corp. (6758) was subpoenaed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over data breaches of its PlayStation Network and Sony Online unit, and representations made to customers, a person familiar with the probe said.
Schneiderman is seeking information on what Sony told customers about the security of their networks, as part of a consumer protection inquiry, said the person familiar with the matter, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

Sony was concerned “that announcing partial or tentative information to consumers could cause confusion and lead them to take unnecessary actions if the information was not fully corroborated by forensic evidence,” the company said in a letter today in response to questions about the breach from the U.S. House subcommittee on commerce and trade.

The companies will work with the FBI in tracking potential clues left behind by the hackers and try to discover if the thieves still have access to the gaming network.

Maybe that will answer your Question on why the PSN is not up.
They are trying to determine rather or not thieves are still able to access the net work.


240

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 9:53 pm said:

Go plant a garden play with your pet, play a bored game with family, or go out and see a movie. Go out and do something nice in your community. there is more to life then gaming.
Or at least open your mind and go and Google some things, you might learn something..Google SNE you’ll see where I am getting the stories and and so forth.


241

+ Spidey817 on May 4th, 2011 at 10:06 pm said:

You know, those of you who are spamming these comments are probably going to get a suspension or a ban at some point, right? Once business gets back to normal and this stuff is moderated correctly again don’t be shocked when PSN is off for you longer than everyone else.


242

+ Coucien on May 4th, 2011 at 10:14 pm said:

Oh great i get the month i paid for, for free. no refund at all, great job Sony.


243

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 10:27 pm said:

I am still on 3.55 . In truth, I can not trust Sony any longer. I am not sure what comes forth is a truth or a lie. I Fell that Sony has lost touch with there consumers and have been very poor in working with there consumers.

I liked it better when the company had the PS2 . they had many great programs that were fair. Like the PlayStation Underground where we were given cards that we could take into shops and get discounts, or where we could get those mysterious what packages in the mail. I found it Fun and entertaining and I enjoyed how the system was configured and was easy to use. Just pop in a DVD or Music disk and away it went. I also enjoyed those rare games that doubled as Music CDs that one could play on the PS2.

But when the PS3 came forth, Sony was great at first, then things went to wayward.
Sony started doing many things that have lead up to lawsuits . The entire thing has been nothing But Lawsuit after lawsuit, and then people pitting against one another and the like. It truly has become a mess.Never have I ever heard of so much happening in the way of Lawsuits and debacles as I have experienced with the PS3. Y


244

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 10:42 pm said:

The PS3 device itself is a great machine.But the people behind it are not so great.
What is sad is that we allow petty things like the removal of the Other OS decide our thoughts words such that were using it. Describing us as either scientists or hackers. Personally that hurts. to be judged as such. especially to be judged as a hacker just because I used it. And A word to those that Judge us that has used it. Yes, it was slow and cumbersome, but when running there was a great many things we could do. No one has the right to judge those of us that used it as hackers. I could easy turn and judge others that sit an play there games day in and day out as couch potatoes.


245

+ datastorm98632 on May 4th, 2011 at 10:46 pm said:

But what should that serve or accomplish. Before you go calling me a troll my advice to you would be How have you treated others? So There is a lawsuit of Other OS and why does that disturb you, to the point of judging us the users of it? any one here that likes to put others down for an idea or belief they have only propagates the hate and anger. Maybe one should take this time to re-evaluate what one wants in there life.For everything that happens there is a reason. May be instead of judging what one posts, maybe you aught to stop and think what is the value of the statement(s) that are being made. You might learn something. Why does an Investigation into the PSN disturb you even more So have you been guilty of something? I want to Know why do some people feel so threaten by investigations into Sony?
What needs to be done must be done.


246

+ eagandale4114 on May 4th, 2011 at 10:47 pm said:

@223 and @227 if I could give you Kudos I would.


247

+ proskatercam on May 4th, 2011 at 11:27 pm said:

Kinda amusing to see Sony fanboys saying that Microsoft has such terrible support and such, but even after I got rid of my Xbox, they still treat me better than Sony does as much as I support them. Go figure. I still prefer PS3, but not exactly what you’d expect, is it?


248

+ JonJonXD on May 5th, 2011 at 4:29 am said:

I’d like to think that since you guys are doing a total network revamp that you are also optimizing it for features we have been asking for for years now.

I understand that security is top priority, but since you are rebuilding the network from the ground up, you might as well be accounting for everything else we’ve been waiting for. Now is the best time to do it since you already have your hands in it.


249

+ Maayhemm on May 5th, 2011 at 4:36 am said:

Can someone plz plz stop this ” datastorm98632″ from posting his utter hatred if the hackers are watching this blog plz get him next . fry his comp so he will just SHUT UP!!!!


250

+ ssmarcos3 on May 5th, 2011 at 4:46 am said:

@236 he has a right to complain anyone does if they choose


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