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Monday, May 9, 2011

Sony Offers Identity Theft Protection

It's been a busy week for Sony, as the scramble continues to deal with the enormous hacker intrusion and the consequences to Sony's brand. A major development this week has been a public letter from Sony CEO Howard Stringer. The gist of the matter: Howard Stringer apologizes. Finally. Why on earth it took two weeks for Sony's CEO to make a public statement can only be attributed to the Japanese culture, I suppose, where admitting a problem is the very last thing you want to do. All very well and good in Japan, I suppose, but Sony is an international company, and they need to handle their international customers, too.

Meanwhile, Sony has offered a free identity protection service for 12 months through Debix, Inc. for PSN users in the United States. Users in other territories will hopefully be offered similar deals. Hey, you'll get priority access to licensed private investigators! I bet you never thought you'd get that with your PSN membership.

Meanwhile, the return of PSN has been delayed for some indefinite period. we're now at 19 days and counting, with no specific start date being mentioned yet. Just to rub salt in Sony's wounds, apparently, the hackers responsible for the attack (who have been lying low) posted personal info from 2500 PSN customers to a dormant Sony web site. Sony did manage to notice and shut down the site, but it is one more embarrassment to add to the list. 

Sony's considering offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the hackers. Hey, maybe you can win a free game! The identity of the hackers remains a mystery, at least publicly, though some Anonymous veterans have stated in interviews they believe that members of the group were in fact responsible, despite denials.

So the wounds continue to ooze, and Sony's efforts to stop the bleeding have so far proven too feeble. Maybe it's time for Kevin Butler, Sony's faux VP they use for PR purposes, to go on the record about the situation. At least we can get some laughs that way. Sony needs some dramatic victory to really turn the PR situation around... maybe they should call Seal Team Six.

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