Sony CEO apologizes for hack, offers free ID theft insurance

By on May 6, 2011, 11:00 AM

Sony chairman and chief executive Howard Stringer offered an apology to the millions of users affected by the recent hacks, and announced that the company has launched an identity theft protection program that includes a $1 million insurance policy per user. The program in question is offered through the identity protection firm Debix and will be free to PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders for one year from their date of registration.

Customers will be able to enroll in the program starting June 18 through an activation email they'll receive over the next few days. Sony says this offer applies only to U.S. customers, but it is working on similar deals for PSN and Qriocity account holders in other countries.

"I know this has been a frustrating time for all of you," Stringer wrote on Sony's U.S. PlayStation blog. "To date, there is no confirmed evidence any credit card or personal information has been misused, and we continue to monitor the situation closely." The company is said to be in the final stages of internal testing for a revamped, newly secured network, and will soon start bringing its services back online in stages.

Even as Sony tries to pull its reputation back together it seems that troubles are far from over for the company. Besides facing a lawsuit as well as legal inquiries from governments around the world, there are rumors that hackers are planning another attack on the system this weekend. If true, it'll be the third attack against Sony in just over a month.

The first came from "hacktivist" group Anonymous in response to the way Sony persecuted George "Geohot" Hotz for hacking its PlayStation console. This was followed by a second attack a couple of weeks later on Sony's PSN, Qriocity music service and the Sony Online Entertainment platform, which resulted in the data of over 100 million users being compromised, including customer names, encrypted credit card numbers, and addresses.

Though Sony has blamed Anonymous for executing the second attack the latter insists it had nothing to do with the breach. According to a report on Cnet, the third round of attacks would come in retaliation for how the company handled the whole situation, taking over a week to disclose the breach to its customers.

User Comments: 18

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matrix86 matrix86 said:

Yeah, the insurance policy is pretty useless. Offering it AFTER there's already been a breach in security, and then expecting PSN users to keep their accounts open with the threat of another attack. But I guess it's better than not having a policy. It'll be interesting to see what happens this weekend.

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

Apology REJECTED! For now anyways...

Jos Jos said:

The insurance means that IF you are a victim of identity theft, you'll be covered up to $1 million for identity restoration costs, legal defense expenses, and lost wages. It does make sense to offer it now since users are at risk because of the breach. Here's some more info:

Guest said:

Screw the ID theft insurance!

How do we know they will not be hacked next?

What a scam by Sony to start a new company... 75 million new customers, even if they retain 10% next year, that's 7.5 million insurance customers. BOO.

I want money PERIOD

Guest said:

1 year of insurance policy! So, after one year PSN users can change their home address and birthday.

Guest said:

When was the last time you heard of a Life Insurance company handing over a $1,000,000 insurance policy to an already diagnosed, terminally-ill cancer patient. It doesn't happen.

Here we see Sony doing just that. Why? Both Sony and Debix, Inc. stand to profit greatly. Sony will undoubtedly profit through kickbacks for shoveling over a potential of 100 million customers (realistically a few million in the least), and the return of its customers it most certainly stands to lose.

Facing such a great risk, why would they agree to open so many policies? They are basically opening millions of million dollar insurance policies for already diagnosed, terminally-ill cancer patients, right?

The fact is, that statistics show that identity theft doesn't occur in the first 12-16 months - outside of the coverage zone that Sony and Debix have agreed upon as complimentary. In fact, they are relying on the statistics coming through to fruition that they are willing to wager the entire company's worth on this fact. If identity theft does occur, it will occur in mass, putting Debix out of commission in payouts.

Guess what happens after that first year? You, the consumer, starts paying Debix ridiculous fees to maintain your $1,000,000 policy, or you become victim to the possibility of identity theft without coverage.

Mind you that Sony's lack of adequate security is what caused the need for this protection in the first place.

I smell bully marketing tactics here. Does anyone else? I wouldn't be surprised to find out that a few of the higher ups in Sony hold shares in Debix, especially since it's based out of Austin, TX - home of Sony's largest American branch.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm curious to see how this will pan out for PS4 sales whenever it comes out. I know if I was a potential next-gen console buyer, I'd steer very clear of Sony products.

Jos Jos said:

You bring up some interesting points, Guest (the 3rd one). I just assumed the chances of being a victim of identity theft were higher in the first few months following the breach, but if what you say is true then it wouldn't amount to much more than saving face and a good business opportunity for Debix.

One-year insurance is still better than nothing I guess :-S

BMfan BMfan said:

The way most of you guys act you would think that Sony went around clubbing baby seals.

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

BMfan said:

The way most of you guys act you would think that Sony went around clubbing baby seals.

That will be in the news next week ;-P

Chazz said:

BMfan said:

The way most of you guys act you would think that Sony went around clubbing baby seals.

What's wrong with that?

Guest said:

I can't believe people are actually complaining about Sony giving them a year of free ID Theft insuramce. I swear people wouldn't be happy even if Sony gave out a free copy of Socom or something to everyone. lol

This isn't some scam by Sony, Debix is apparently one of the better ID theft companies from looking around on the web about them.

And how would this not help even though you info is already stolen? It'll be insurance just in case that info gets used, durrr.

Guest said:

since sony fired some 205 us employees just before the attack,

it would make perfect sense for a pissed off Dev to stick it to them,but who is sony going to blame?anon-opps. can you imagine how bad it would look for sony if it was revealed that it was one of there own?

i for one wont be taking the bribe,i now see just what kind of corp i have put my misplaced loyalty in to.

most people bought the sony line, that they removed the other os feature because of security concerns,not true.

they removed it because of the value the launch date models had over the slim.

the the pre-orders were low and so was the real sales

figures at the slims launch.

the phat was a better device.

soon they will remove ps2 bc.(for security reasons)

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Oh well thank god the US gets compensation, the rest of the world just isn't important enough to merit anything. This comes at no surprise however because thats going to keep off the lawsuits, but also just further piss people off it appears.

Guest said:

And Sony will ***** slap those unemployed hackers this time, can't wait! Japan tech will always be superior to american retard hackers. Booya!

BMfan BMfan said:

Adhmuz said:

Oh well thank god the US gets compensation, the rest of the world just isn't important enough to merit anything. This comes at no surprise however because thats going to keep off the lawsuits, but also just further piss people off it appears.

The only reason they are doing that is because most of the people in the US like to complain about a lot of things and create lawsuit for everything,Sony are just trying to protect themselves from the lawyer happy people.

Guest said:

sorry sony, i really feel sorry for you... i like your products but i don't agree how you handled the situation when you found out that someone hacked your console. the lesson is: once your product has been hacked it's better to find ways to keep your original users happy than trying to exert revenge prosecuting the ones that freed your product.

the money spent on all those trials and settlements should've been invested in psn infraestructure or capabilities. remember than once the pandora's box has been opened, there's no way one can close it again.

stupid sony ppl trying to hunt shadows...

hooray for the hackers!!

UnknownSky said:

All in all


They learned their lesson. 1 year of free identity theft insurance is good. All I did when I heard about the hacks is change my bank info, end of story. If you want to sue and complain, b*tch and moan about it all then go right ahead. But you are wasting time. I am loyal to Sony and always will be. I am glad they are actually doing damage control or trying at it. They could just say f*ck it and to Heck with you all

I enjoy the games, the system and I hope that PSN will be up and running soon as it can.

In regards to the hackers, you are seriously getting way over your heads. Yes, I believe in showing a company how their network sucks in the security field BUT taking information such as usernames, credit card numbers and what not is absolutely idiotic and I hope you get thrown into jail and forced to give a crying blow job to a neo-nazi ^_^

All in all,

I am still loyal to Sony, I disagree with any lawsuits against them and as far as the hackers are concerned continueing the idiocy, for shame.

Sincerely and much love,


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