updated 04:15 am EDT, Sun May 1, 2011
Sony's Kaz Hirai fronts the media, makes promises
Sony VP Kaz Hirai, has fronted the world's media in an attempt to stem the negative publicity the company is facing in the wake of the PSN hacking outage. While shedding little new light on the nature of the attack, Hirai explained that the company has involved the FBI in investigating what it referred to as a "criminal cyber-attack on the company's data-center located in San Diego." Hirai also promised that Sony would be bringing its services back online in a "phased restoration" starting this week and it that would also involve the company moving its servers out of San Diego to an undisclosed location.
Further, Hirai said that Sony has been working with several external security firms in order to implement what the company refers to as "significant security measures to further detect unauthorized activity and provide consumers with greater protection of their personal information." The measures include automated software monitoring, enhanced levels of data protection, enhanced intrusion detection and the implementation of additional firewalls.
As a goodwill gesture, Sony is offering customers a "complimentary offering" and a "welcome back" appreciation program. This will be determined at a local level for each country. Also included will be 30 days free service for PlayStation Plus members, plus 30 days free subscription to the PlayStation Plus service for regular PlayStation Network customers. Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers will also receive 30 days' free service.
While Sony confirmed that the personal information of its 77 million PSN members was exposed, it reiterated that the company had no evidence of the theft of customer's credit card details. The company added that it will, "provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs," with further details forthcoming.
While the response may appease some customers, it will take the company some time to restore customer confidence in its services after what is a major PR disaster for the company. It may yet still get worse if it is revealed that customer's credit card details have indeed been exposed as has been rumored, though not confirmed.