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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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301

+ righello on May 5th, 2011 at 12:38 pm said:

@Datastorm98632:

Good points, especially on Clxud computing.. Afraid for NGP.

But, just curious, could they have designed the network with a ‘sandbox-like’ environment?

Where personal information was stored on the PS3 itself, and bare minimum was actually stored on any network. (Is this called “Linux-like”? — Not sure.) Is there anyway to build a network that couldn’t even run ‘code’ that breaches security?

In the same way, the network could be configured that any breach of security to mine personal information, what little there would be, wouldn’t req. a whole system to be affected..


302

+ stargateheaven on May 5th, 2011 at 1:02 pm said:

They should just make it so you have to enter the details every time. Simple.
It’d be annoying to enter everytime, but it’s unbreakable. :)


303

+ ssmarcos3 on May 5th, 2011 at 1:03 pm said:

I c@N hAZ P|@staTI0nN3tw0rKzzzz ????


304

+ ElChingon2588 on May 5th, 2011 at 1:04 pm said:

How hard is it to tell us. Come On!!!!!!


305

+ SOOPERGOOMAN187 on May 5th, 2011 at 1:16 pm said:

It’s like everyone got banned at the same time…. see you in June. I have joined the Canadian suit against you for, 1. Misinformation, 2. Lieing to your customers 3. Withholding important and vital info that our credentials were stolen 4. inability to really communicate with customers 5. Obvious disregard for any info from customers pertaining to catching said thieves 6. Lack of transparency 7. Tech support that is sub par at the best of times 8. Playstation 3 is purported to have a TEN YEAR LIFESPAN, I’ve gone through FOUR and had to get You to repair at my own expense in 5 years. 9 A viably sound repair agreement meant to help the consumer not extract more money from them. and 10. Failure to provide proof of Reason for Banning within Playstation Home. Hope you got deep pockets….


306

+ GrimReaper4383 on May 5th, 2011 at 1:18 pm said:

this is why i buy psn cards. and, i dont have credit. since i have no use for a credit card.


307

+ i_like_toast on May 5th, 2011 at 1:21 pm said:

Broke down my line of reasoning?

my line of reasoning is, Sony Decided to use this blog for only issues related to the breach. What other advertising they do is irrelevant to what they do on this blog. So please keep imaging you went to college and were on the debate team, but still can’t grasp common sense.

But let’s break down your line of reasoning. Companies exist to make money, Sony has turned off the PS Store, losing Sony money. Sony is planning on giving away free service, losing Sony Money. Sony is planning on giving away free products, losing Sony Money. It’s almost like, all though making money is really important, it’s important to make money not just today but over the next 5 years as well. To Ensure that, they have to take care of this incident here. Giving an impression, if it’s true or not, that they are 100% focused on working on this, is the type of things Sony made a conscious decision to do.

It amazes me that you can’t grasp that this has nothing to do with the ability to get online or not, it has to do with a much bigger issue. Personal Security. Sony has to regain customer trust or it won’t matter how hard they advertise their games, people will stay away from it for the sake of being Sony.


308

+ i_like_toast on May 5th, 2011 at 1:23 pm said:

@sooper, hope you didn’t pay anything because you won’t win that case. Since you weren’t misinformed, lied to, or withheld any vital information. But good luck with that, truly. Glad there are no shortage of spineless people looking to sue for no reason.

@Grim, your cc info is safe, if you attached a CC or used psn you are no more at risk. Paranoria is awesome though. The extent you are at risk is if you’re name is listed in a phone book and someone with ill intent was picking names out of a phone book. This is far more of an embarrassing moment for Sony then it is anything that puts you personally at risk.


309

+ slapjaw79 on May 5th, 2011 at 1:27 pm said:

We need to catch these criminals and put them away. If they can do this to sony think about what they can do to a persons identity. I wouldn’t be suprised if psn was out for the rest of the month. Break out the bikes.


310

+ pickupdoctor on May 5th, 2011 at 1:34 pm said:

I actually had time to enjoy some of my other games while PSN has been down. But I miss my dosage of PS+ and other downloads I get. Also looking forward to try out some new demos.

Keep working guys, and lets get that new better faster and more secure PSN up soon.


311

+ Vinland_Krauser on May 5th, 2011 at 1:36 pm said:

God, this blog is becoming an airplane crash site.
Think about it: survivors are dividing, fighting each other and searching for food (or in this case, web info to prove their points)
This is just like LOST.


312

+ STDProne on May 5th, 2011 at 1:37 pm said:

@Vinland
LOST is a terrible show lol


313

+ Vinland_Krauser on May 5th, 2011 at 1:38 pm said:

@312
And that’s what makes this even more awful. =(


314

+ Gerry_the_Veg on May 5th, 2011 at 1:39 pm said:

(1)
Its incredible how something like this can affect so many people! .. When you step back and see its just a video game console.. then you look over at the stocks and realize they have plummeted and lost around 13% of their company to a group of hackers… not to mention sponsorships and sales…

I guess i used to be pissed off about it not being up… but lets face it.. SONY needs it to be up and running as fast as possible, not for just our sake but for their own sake and the well being of their company..


315

+ Gerry_the_Veg on May 5th, 2011 at 1:39 pm said:

(2)
So rest assured, we can feel better knowing they really are doing the best they can, maybe at first they werent but now they sure as hell are with Europe , US and Canada reps suing them and them losing sponsors and sales..

The longer they wait, the more money they lose. so it’s in their best interest to handle this as quickly and perfectly as possible.

Atleast in this case, yes we cant play games and it sucks not being able to play …. BUT… Sony is losing a LOT of money and in reality what have you invest into sony? a $300-600 console.. and lets say maybe at most another $1000 worth of games (most people less) .. btu Sony is losing MILLIONS by the day!… so it’s hitting them much harder then it’s hitting us!!…

Karma is a B*tch..


316

+ Autoxfool on May 5th, 2011 at 1:42 pm said:

Insider to Sony are you now. Show me your evidence for where Sony decided to use this here blog for issues only related to the breach and notified of us such, and I’ll be more than happy to concede. Until then,

Your line of infallible reasoning was it would be bad advertising for them to post about games on the blog because you can’t use all of said features. Yet failed to explain why they continue to promote the PS3 (it does everything…still advertised…but not true now is it) and games in all other avenues available to them. Print, TV, Internet…ads are still flowing. Why aren’t they using all that time to promote how Sony is handling the situation, which is, as you say, is what they are doing with the blog? Only after the fact did you state you know for such certainly that Sony decided to use the blog for incident only posts (realizing you’re bad advertising reasoning, was, well…toast.)

Flawed little thinker. And if you thought you really broke anything down with that ‘logical’ explanation of my reasoning in your post..well….You, good toast, need help and a class in logic and communication theory.


317

+ iKingAces on May 5th, 2011 at 2:04 pm said:

This is incredible, no update today neither. I’ll give it time since its only 1 something in 1-2 something in California, but Sony…what the ****, man? Answer us this ONE question, everyone has been asking it. Are we going to get PSN back this week or next week? You continue to promote your damn Socom game over and over, again! But you can’t give us a simple answer as to when we getting PSN back. Yet, you tell Yahoo “by the end of this week” so, you can feed Yahoo lies too. I’m fed up with this, I just hope its up by the time Brink is released OR at least L.A Noire[May 17th]. CHOP-CHOP!


318

+ blakseed on May 5th, 2011 at 2:07 pm said:

@Gerry_the_Veg

I can’t wait until karma catches up to those hackers. That’s going to be a sweet day.


319

+ Xaeroe on May 5th, 2011 at 2:15 pm said:

house of Reps…. drinking soda is awesome…but they say they are going to give us PS plus while the store is down doesn’t that defeat the purpose?


320

+ STDProne on May 5th, 2011 at 2:24 pm said:

@Xaeroe
once the PS Store is up then you activate the free PS+


321

+ i_like_toast on May 5th, 2011 at 2:27 pm said:

so king, you want them to give you a false date so you can falsely claim they’re lying if they don’t hit that date again? the latest word is this week, until sony either finds a definite answer or finds that this week will be missed, they won’t say anything new


322

+ STDProne on May 5th, 2011 at 2:54 pm said:

huh I can’t enjoy anything untill this is fixed. It’s always in the back of my mind when I’m doing something.


323

+ s1mpl3______j4ck on May 5th, 2011 at 3:00 pm said:

Is PSN up yet?


324

+ ssmarcos3 on May 5th, 2011 at 3:10 pm said:

please fix this already i want to play with my friends


325

+ migz2475 on May 5th, 2011 at 3:20 pm said:

SONY UR SO FULL OF IT!!!


326

+ migz2475 on May 5th, 2011 at 3:23 pm said:

I FINISH SOCCOM 4 THREE TIMES ALREADY!!! HAVE NOT EVEN PLAYED IT ONLINE YET!!! WTF!!!


327

+ wasted_god on May 5th, 2011 at 3:30 pm said:

i thought that Sony was loaded with some of the best experts in the world. it should not be taking this long to get things together and get back online. and Sony is losing money everyday. cant get add on packs or order games and things with the network down.


328

+ JanosiK_64 on May 5th, 2011 at 3:40 pm said:

The mighty Sony has met an enemy in which they were unprepared for. I fear this is only the start of things to come. We shall see????


329

+ lyfestory on May 5th, 2011 at 3:50 pm said:

where are the gaming stories…? news? just because the security of PSN and SOE has been compromised, has the developers and game creators stopped working on games…??? we shouldve had more interviews and features and news on upcoming games rather than the constant attention this security breakdown has been getting…. has everything just stopped? like Pulse, Qore, games being released, etc… we have E3 to look forward to in just a month…. how about some news on that….??

i dont care about all these security updates… just get the thing fixed and let the gamers get back to what they want…

and someone get working on Destruction Derby 3


330

+ Budapesti on May 5th, 2011 at 3:50 pm said:

So, the latest news is that PSN used outdated Apache servers with NO FIREWALL, at that Sony were aware of this months ago.
Given that there’s no reports that the hacker(s) have abused anyone’s credit card info, it’s looking more and more like they did us a favor in alerting people to Sony’s incompetence.


331

+ RyuuSkyez on May 5th, 2011 at 3:53 pm said:

F u sony F u…=(
*Cries to self quietly*
we’re all just hurting kids,
hurting kids with a dream,
a dream that one day,
psn would be back in our lives.

~A poem written by Ryuu.


332

+ blakseed on May 5th, 2011 at 3:53 pm said:

@JanosiK

You don’t seem to care wither PSN comes back or not . You seem more interested in the guys that f’ed up PSN. Why is that?


333

+ KAHUNAx on May 5th, 2011 at 3:56 pm said:

well you got one more day sony like i said on monday or tuesday…………this psn not up this weekend. I dont think they will have it up until next week maybe even next month. ORIGINALLY SAID A DAY OR TWO. YOU GUYS SUCK at giving a timeline


334

+ blakseed on May 5th, 2011 at 3:56 pm said:

@Budapesti

Wow man. Go back to IGN or whatever tabloid gaming site you get your news or “updates” from.


335

+ migz2475 on May 5th, 2011 at 4:03 pm said:

F*** IT 5 DE MAYO!!!! LETS DRINK TO PS3′S DEATH!!! TEQUILA


336

+ migz2475 on May 5th, 2011 at 4:04 pm said:

LMAO


337

+ Budapesti on May 5th, 2011 at 4:10 pm said:

@333 My Sony Fanboy senses are tingling. Stop being a pathetic apologist and accept the reality: Sony messed up, and we’re all paying the price.
As for the info, if you bother to read the minutes of the recent House of Representatives summary, you’ll find the info in there. The fact that it’s being published on news sites now (except here of course… if this is where you get your ‘fair and balanced’ Sony News from, you’re even more naive than you appear) is neither here nor there.


338

+ GrimReaper4383 on May 5th, 2011 at 4:20 pm said:

@334
can i get the worm?


339

+ HeLLeVeN11 on May 5th, 2011 at 4:31 pm said:

When are you gonna post that it won’t be up this week? When the week is finished or…?


340

+ STDProne on May 5th, 2011 at 4:48 pm said:

new post


341

+ NotoriousGamer on May 15th, 2011 at 10:34 am said:

Sony Boss and Sony PlayStation bosses should go and explain themselves and the incident to the U.S. House of Representatives in person. Put it on CSpan and on the PS Blog live!


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