Yesterday, the Sony executive in charge of its video game and consumer electronics unit, Kazuo Hirai, apologized for "worrying and inconveniencing" the 77 million registered Playstation Network users that has been caused by the hacking of the Playstation Network almost two weeks ago.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Hirai also said that Sony could not rule out that the credit-card information of some 10 million customers has been compromised. The credit card information was encrypted, however. But he did confirmed that the names, addresses, e-mail addresses and birthdates of all of its registered users had been accessed.
Mr. Hirai went on to say that Sony's online services have been under attack for the past six weeks, as well as that "... the personal information of its executives and their children had been published online, along with threats made against Sony's retail outlets."
The Journal quoted Mr. Hirai as saying:
"We're still not sure what the goal of these people who entered our system [is] and why they did this dishonest act."
Another article in the New York Times says that parts of the PlayStation Network would be online before the end of the week, but that it will likely take a full month before all services are restored. Customers will need to change their passwords to access the network, and will be given compensation in the form of free content of some kind as part of a customer "appreciation plan."
As I predicted, the US Congress has decided to hold hearings this week on the breach. The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade sent a letter (PDF) to Sony on Friday "demanding answers" to 13 questions about the data breach. The 13 questions basically are what do you know about the breach, when did you know it, and what took you so long to disclose it type of questions.
In addition, the Australia, the UK and Hong Kong have each said they are launching investigations, but the EU is still quiet on the subject.
According to Sony, a story in the Washington Post says,
"... of the 77 million PlayStation Network accounts, about 36 million are in the U.S. and elsewhere in the Americas, while 32 million are in Europe and 9 million in Asia, mostly in Japan."
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.