Howard Stringer Addresses The Masses

At this point I think it’s pretty much impossible to undersell how big of an issue the PSN outage has become. It’s left a dent on the PlayStation Network, the PlayStation 3, Sony and video games in general that won’t soon be forgotten. But, the first step to recovering from an incident like this is an apology and a plan; both of which are offered below in an open letter from Sony’s Chairman, President and CEO, Howard Stringer. While he doesn’t offer much information that we didn’t already know, it’s nice seeing a leader of the highest order come out and speak to those involved.

Dear Friends,

I know this has been a frustrating time for all of you.

Let me assure you that the resources of this company have been focused on investigating the entire nature and impact of the cyber-attack we’ve all experienced and on fixing it. We are absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience. We will settle for nothing less.

To date, there is no confirmed evidence any credit card or personal information has been misused, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. We are also moving ahead with plans to help protect our customers from identity theft around the world. A program for U.S. PlayStation Network and Qriocity customers that includes a $1 million identity theft insurance policy per user was launched earlier today and announcements for other regions will be coming soon.

As we have announced, we will be offering a “Welcome Back” package to our customers once our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are up and running. This will include, among other benefits, a month of free PlayStation Plus membership for all PSN customers, as well as an extension of subscriptions for PlayStation Plus and Music Unlimited customers to make up for time lost.

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.

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. 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.

As a result of what we discovered we notified you of the breach. Our investigation is ongoing, and we are upgrading our security so that if attacks like this happen again, our defenses will be even stronger.

In the last few months, Sony has faced a terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But now we are facing a very man-made event – a criminal attack on us — and on you — and we are working with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies around the world to apprehend those responsible.

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.

With best regards,
Howard Stringer

Well said, Howard. Well said.

Source: US PS BlogEU PS Blog (thanks tom61726b and ‘sully1311’ for the tip)

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45 Comments

  1. What a bro.

  2. Could have left out the Japan bit. Not a fair comparison. Are the FBI after the earthquake conspirators?

    • Yeah, that was a bit of a bad comparison but the way he has admitted the mistakes is nice.

      • Yes, but only in the PR. Nothing about the security failings.

    • Notice there’s a “but” in the paragraph.

      • Yes but needn’t have been in there. Plus, it confuses the statement.

    • I don’t see it as a comparison more just stating that Sony has been having a tough time lately for multiple reasons.

      • Sympathy vote that plays on something way out of proportion. Very bad spin.

      • depends if you look at it like that there a Japanese company so more than entitled to mention that if they want just some perspective really.

    • I agree. Sounds a little cynical in my view and not very relevant: loss of life/loss of data? Cheap ploy to get our sympathies?
      I’ve donated money to the Japan appeal, but Sony can sort this out themselves I think!

      I’d also have liked to have seen this in my inbox, unless Sony have lost my email address that is.

  3. Very calming.

  4. I love reading the EU blog now that the cookies have expired and no-one can reply to their posts. I bet the SCEE team are even more relieved haha.

  5. Not a single word on Sony’s own responsibility in their appalling lack of security.

    Not a single excuse, not a fair and straight “we fucked up, this will never happen again (at least on this scale)”. Instead, we get the typical finger-pointing at those “cyber-criminals” and the quite disgusting earthquake pretext.

    I was expecting Stringer to come out honest, but he’s doing what everyone else at Sony does: covering his arse.

    • they fucked up some scum hacked there system.

    • What appalling lack of security? what system did they not have in place that they should have done? they got hacked, probably an inside job. I really don’t get how its Sony’s fault at all.

      • Sony were running out of date software. Just update and reboot could have helped.

    • I think the reason for a lot of this arse covering, and trying to hide the facts is the Japanese culture.To admit failure or falling short of any measure is not in their nature. They would rather be seen to fall on their sword. Whereas Western cultures reaction would be to immediately alert everyone, and anyone, to what had happened, primarily for fear of being sued.

      I’m not one of those who has been hugely bothered about PSN being down, I’ve managed to get my fix of PS3, just offline. Everyone will feel differently and put their own spin on it (for example, that 21 year old Canadian taking it to the extreme… Twat). As long as my card details are safe, and will continue to be kept safe, then I will continue to be a Sony customer.

  6. Not perfect, but definitely a good start. I want to see what regions other than America are being offered in terms of ID theft protection.

  7. they can not win it seems whatever they say. I’m looking forward to the PSN coming back no hate from me they lost out a lot more than we did imo.

  8. Oh my word…. All these people slagging him off over mentioning the earthquake. Give it a rest. Japan was hit, and, beyond the obvious human cost, it’s still causing massive economic disruption. Sony employs thousands of people in Japan, and has many, many third party suppliers in it’s supply chain, and effects on those are likely to have ramifications (not necessarily delays) to other companies including Sony. The man is simply stating facts.

    • With you on this one. This letter is a damn good start to healing the wounds and I didn’t find it particularly weird to see a mention of the earthquake as there are some fascinating parallels (even though one is man-made and one is natural).

  9. “In the coming days, we will restore service to the networks and welcome you back to the fun”

    So, apparently the PSN is in final stages of testing yet they still can’t give us a definitive date? All the while apologising for being a little vague with previous updates? Only Sony…

  10. You know I’ve heard Howard Stringer doesn’t have a chin, only a third fist.

    • I think you are getting Howard confused with Chuck Norris.

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