A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

Summary: Sony is finally talking straight about what it's doing to get the PlayStation Network up and running with improved security. But is it enough for gamers already turned off by this debacle?

SHARE:

Sony's Kazuo Hirai took the podium along with other Sony executives at a press conference in Japan on Sunday to formally apologize for the company's problems with its PlayStation Network and Qriocity streaming service, both of which have been down for almost two weeks due to a security failure.

During the press conference (and reiterated in a blog post on Sony's Web site, Sony explained how they plan to make amends and shore up their security as the PlayStation Network and Qriocity service comes back online beginning this week.

Sony has received harsh criticism for failing to quickly publicly acknowledge a security intrusion had taken place. The service was down for six days before Sony admitted that their network security had been compromised and that thieves had swiped personal account information including names, addresses, passwords and possibly even credit card numbers. The PlayStation Network is used by an estimated 77 million subscribers worldwide.

As many as 10 million credit cards may have been exposed, though their information was encrypted, unlike the PSN account personal information. Sony executives at the press conference underscored that the company has not confirmed any cases of credit card fraud associated with the break in, and will let the public know when they have more information.

Sony plans to hire a Chief Information Security Officer who will report to Shinji Hasejima, the company's Chief Information Officer. That executive will help oversee new efforts at Sony to bolster security including the addition of software to help monitor and defend against attacks; improved data protection and encryption; the addition of new firewalls; and the ability to detect software intrusions on Sony's network.

In light of the intrusion, Sony said it's expediting the move of the system that houses the PlayStation Network to a new data center in a different location than its current place in San Diego, Calif.

When the system finally comes back online, PlayStation 3 owners will have to download new firmware in order to regain access, and will need to change their passwords either using e-mail or the same PlayStation 3 they used to activate their PSN account.

Sony has also initiated a "Welcome Back appreciation program" to try to win back gamers who have been disenfranchised from Sony through this mess. They plan to offer "selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download." Sony said the freebies will vary by region, and will be announced soon.

PlayStation Plus, Sony's premium-level subscription plan for PSN users, will be available to all with a 30-day free membership. Current PSN subscribers get a 30-day extension to their subscription. Qriocity subscribers see similar benefits.

All told, it's a good start for Kaz Hirai and others from Sony to step up to the plate, take the blame and start to make amends. Lots of PlayStation Network users feel burned by this debacle, however, and at a time when Sony is trying to expand its reach to gamers with products like the NGP (Sony's next-generation handheld gaming system) and Android-based tablets, PSN infiltration by data thieves couldn't have come at a worse time for the company.

Related:

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Security

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

15 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

    I agree that this has come at a bad time for Sony, but this is something that a lot of companies lately have been facing; the intrusion into emails being hack from banks and mass companies. & we cannot forget the 14 day loss of Microsoft's Network way back. I am happy to hear Sony is trying to make up for the loss, and in all reality, Sony did not charge for their online services and people have had a chance to do more than just play video games...I am thankful Sony has been addressing this issue and taken steps to prevent future losses.
    deletedboi1985
  • RE: A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

    Sony Please Please understand we OR I, love you guy's and what ppl really dont understand is it take time to figuar out what happen in you data base. So i say off with there head for the ones that sign on to this STUPID LAW SUIT, information of anyone person can be compermized at any point and time in the information age we live in just learn to do the math and protect youself after an attack on your personal infomation, i have frad alert on our Credit cards Cost us nothing to do so. So in all seriousness of the current situation @ Sony I truly belieave in Sony and there ppl. So i leave you all with a loud note. ROCK DA! FK ON SONY!!!! oh and hurry up and get my psn working lol jk gl hf
    Coldasice09
  • We are disappointed with sony

    because it failed to pledge its commitment to Linux and OSS to avoid these kind of incidents.
    Linux Geek
  • RE: A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

    And so it happens again - Sony's SOE properties are all offline (Everquest, Everquest II, etc.) due to a security isuse with no ETA of when they will be back.
    cjames2
  • ahha so glad a dropped out of all SOE games a year ago.

    This will only cause these gamers to find a new game. SOE is going to be seriously hurt by this and they fully deserve it.

    If they have gone by credit card protection standards, the credit card data should be secure enough.. but i guess only time will tell.

    Has anyone seen the anime movie " Summer Wars "... very good and on subject with this.
    Been_Done_Before
  • RE: A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

    Now this... Sony Online Entertainment takes down its PC game web site station[dot]com and SOE services.

    But hey according to SONY there?s an explanation
    VanZan8000
  • RE: A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

    "Sony has also initiated a ?Welcome Back appreciation program? to try to win back gamers who have been disenfranchised from Sony through this mess."

    Hate to say this, but I think they'll probably need to do more than offer a free month and a few freebies to get back a lot of players.
    CobraA1
  • RE: A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

    While I hear what Sony is saying, I am dissappointed with the way they have handled this. Their current proposal of 30 days of Premium is a total miss - I have no interest in this material AND to get it will likely require me to give more/new/additional information to a system I no longer trust.

    Encryption of the personal data, not just credit card info (btw: of which we have no clue if it was compromised) is a relatively simple thing and should have been done from the inception.

    Sony has a long way to go to earn back my trust.
    :|
    rhonin
    • TrueCrypt is probably one of the best.

      @rhonin ... It's also available for Linux. It's easy to set up and information can be shared and unencrypted between different users.<br><br>It's available as an encrypted partition and you can even encrypt an entire flash drive or hard drive.<br><br>Once you open it with the drive letter and password, you just move data into the partition or drive via explorer or file manager. It's automatically encrypted and it remains encrypted even if you forget to exit it. It will revert to the encrypted state when you exit or shut down the computer.

      And to top it off, it's totally free.
      Joe.Smetona
  • RE: A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

    I imagine once PSN is back online, this will all be forgotten about in a month's time.
    avoidz
  • Sony attacked through Administrators' PC, via malware email.

    <i>"Sony got a bad luck again after the PS3 hack. Sony Corporations online data of PlayStation Gamers just got stolen. It included the theft of 77 million user accounts that consisted of their names, addresses and credit card data. Due to this Sony has shut down its all servers. Reports say that this theft took place 7 days ago by an illegal and unauthorized person. Sony immediately shut down all its networks thus preventing the players to play online and even the online purchases. This theft is said to be the biggest internet security break-ins ever. Sony claimed that there is only a small probability of credit cards of users are being stolen but it could not promise it. The data stolen is estimated of worth about $5oo millions. Alan Pailer, the research director of SANS institute said that they didnt pay enough attention to the security system of the servers as they were more focused on the innovation of the new products. This could be a major reason for this security break-in. <b>Pailer suspected that Hackers succeeded to break-in security system by taking over the PC of a system administrator who had the rights to access the information about Sonys customers. He also claimed that they hacked into the administrators system by sending an email that contained malware.</i> Reports also say that the same group of hackers hacked into the systems of other major corporations. To all its online buyers, Sony suggested to place fraud alerts on their credit cards accounts through three U.S credit card bureaus. Sony said it could restore some of the networks services within a week."</b><br><br><a href="http://www.techextant.com/sony-playstation-data-break/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://www.techextant.com/sony-playstation-data-break/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://www.techextant.com/sony-playstation-data-break/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://www.techextant.com/sony-playstation-data-break/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://www.techextant.com/sony-playstation-data-break/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.techextant.com/sony-playstation-data-break/</a></a></a></a></a><br><br>They should do what Google did, don't allow Windows for data storage or Administrator use, only testing.
    Joe.Smetona
    • RE: A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

      @Joe.Smetona Sony uses Microsoft software? I thought you where trying to make Microsoft lack sales..
      markh789
      • Cheap retreads on an expensive, new car.

        @markh789 ... It's difficult to break the paradigm of Administrators using Windows. But, Sony didn't learn it's lesson from what happened to Google via MS Windows zero-day exploits. At least Google banned Windows and MS completely, except for testing purposes. With only using MS for testing, Windows insecurity is someone else's problem.

        Microsoft is the sales loser compared to Android and Apple sales. There's no doubt about that. They can't compete because they have to spin the use of AV to a crowd that is not using it. Also, carriers are hesitant because of the WP7 botnet threat. I'm sure MS won't be financially liable if that happens.

        http://cjlt.dal.ca/vol5_no1/pdfarticles/chandler.pdf

        http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=microsoft+liable+for+botnet+damages

        http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=microsoft+hiding+wp7+sales+figures

        Sony will even be doing the new MS "I'm a PC" commercials. :(

        Unfortunately, Microsoft never apologizes. It's always Sony or Google or Lush Cosmetics UK or RSA that has to issue the "Open Letter to our Customers". All Microsoft does is provide the accompanying stench from a very safe distance.
        Joe.Smetona
  • RE: A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

    I'm sorry but I don't think that what they are offering the users of PSN is enough for the damage they have caused millions of user's around the world. What they are offering is a pittence for what the average person has to go through for changing passwords to cancelling credit cards and constantly checking their credit info and make sure their lives are not stolen and used for Identity theft. Shame on you Sony. I think you have more to do than offer 1 month free of Plus service and some add ons for user's!!!
    Cognizant1
  • RE: A look at what Sony's doing to fix the PlayStation Network mess

    Sony, We want Other Operating System Capabilities on the Play Stations, that means Linux.
    Sony, you had it... And then you took it away.
    Are you paying attention... Sony.
    Cause and affect, don't give a capability and then expect loyalty when you take an obvious need away. I will not buy a Play Station unless I can use it with Linux. I am sure the US Military is saying the same thing.
    cyfaill