Sony CEO Stringer says sorry for PlayStation problems

sony-psn-playstation-networkA letter from Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer in which he apologized to millions of PlayStation Network and Qriocity users was posted on the PlayStation blog late Thursday.

The apology comes in the wake of the data loss of millions of users following a hack which took place between April 17 and 19. The perpetrators of the hack have not yet been identified, and the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are still down.

The letter begins: “I know this has been a frustrating time for all of you.” Stringer reassures users that the company has been concentrating on investigating the recent cyber attack and that it is “absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible.” He adds: “We will settle for nothing less.”

In an attempt to placate customers, Stringer, who had up until now remained silent on the data loss issue, announced the launch of its identity theft protection scheme in which US users can enroll for free. Announcements for other areas will be coming soon, he wrote.

Stringer made his apology halfway through the letter: “As a company we — and I — apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack. Under the leadership of Kazuo Hirai, we have teams working around the clock and around the world to restore your access to those services as quickly, and as safely, as possible.”

Addressing criticism that the company was slow off the mark in informing customers of the problems, Stringer wrote: “I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It’s a fair question. As soon as we discovered the potential scope of the intrusion, we shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and hired some of the best technical experts in the field to determine what happened.”

He goes on: “I wish we could have gotten the answers we needed sooner, but forensic analysis is a complex, time-consuming process. Hackers, after all, do their best to cover their tracks, and it took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had — or had not — been taken.”

The letter ends: “In the coming days, we will restore service to the networks and welcome you back to the fun. I wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we are committed to serving you to the very best of our ability, protecting your information better than ever, and getting you back to what you signed up for – all the games and great entertainment experiences that you expect from Sony.”

We’ll have to wait and see whether the content of the CEO’s letter is enough to restore confidence in users of Sony’s services. For some it may at least be a step in the right direction, while others will be waiting for further details about how the company will be protecting users’ data in the future.

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