Sony chief executive Howard Stringer

Sony CEO apologises to PlayStation Network users for breach

Sony CEO Howard Stringer has apologised to users of its PlayStation Network and other online services.

Stringer’s comments come after he faced criticism of his leadership since Sony revealed hackers had compromised the data of more than 100 million accounts used for accessing games and music over the internet.

“As a company we - and I - apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack,” Stringer said in comments posted on Sony’s US PlayStation blog.

Sony issued its first warning on the break-in a week after it detected a problem with the network on April 19, infuriating many PlayStation users around the world. Sony said it needed time to work out the extent of the damage.

“I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It’s a fair question,” Stringer said.

“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.”

Stringer said Sony would restore network services “in the coming days”, but gave no date.

The internet breaches sparked thousands of comments on the official PlayStation fan page on Facebook and on its blog, some of them from users who said they would switch to Microsoft’s Xbox Live games network.

“There is a real concern that trust in Sony’s business will decline,” Kota Ezawa, analyst at Citigroup Global Markets Japan, wrote in a note ahead of the comments from Stringer.

Stringer also said the company had launched a $1 million data theft insurance policy for its US PlayStation Network and Qriocity users.

“I know this has been a frustrating time for all of you,” Stringer said. “To date, there is no confirmed evidence any credit card or personal information has been misused, and we continue to monitor the situation closely,” he said.

Anonymous, an internet vigilante group that Sony has said was indirectly responsible for the attack on the company denied it was behind the data theft.

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