Playstation Network has now been offline since the 20th of April and will finally partially come back online this week. Sony’s second in command Kazuo Hirai has outlined how the company plans to ensure everything is safe in the future and what users will get as the “Welcome Back” package.
At the Tokyo press conference today Hirai revealed that the cause of the outage was an attack on a San Diego data centre and although he didn’t go into any details he described the attack as sophisticated, he also revealed that 10 million credit cards had been affected but reiterated that as of yet no fraudulent activity has been reported .
“This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry”
“These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber-security. We take the security of our consumers’ information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data. In addition, the organization has worked around the clock to bring these services back online, and are doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks.
“Our global audience of PlayStation Network and Qriocity consumers was disrupted. We have learned lessons along the way about the valued relationship with our consumers, and to that end, we will be launching a customer appreciation program for registered consumers as a way of expressing our gratitude for their loyalty during this network downtime, as we work even harder to restore and regain their trust in us and our services.”
This week online play will be back up and running along with music and video download services, but if you want to download any content from the store, you will have to wait until mid May.
As a result of the attack, Sony will be adding the following security measures:
- Added automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks.
- Enhanced levels of data protection and encryption.
- Enhanced ability to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns.
- Implementation of additional firewalls.
- New position within the company of Chief Information Security Officer
What will we receive as a good will gesture from Sony then? 30 days of Playstation Plus and selected free entertainment content to be confirmed at a later date, but is it enough?
Now that the dust has settled, it does feel a lot like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted, big corporations like Sony need to realise that they have a responsibility to ensure that our data is safe, not after someone has stolen it but before that happens, I think that the damage to Sony is far reaching, there is of course a financial cost, but to repair their tattered reputation is going to take a long time as people have long memories.
Existing customers may eventually forgive and forget, but new ones might now think twice about jumping on the Playstation bandwagon and that could hurt them more in the long run.