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.

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