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Technology

Sony apologizes for data breach but can't rule out credit card data theft

In Sony's first public comments following its announcement of a massive personal data theft, the company apologized for the breach and said it would resume some services on its PlayStation Network.

A child plays PlayStation

Sony's network breach exposed 78 million users' data

At a press conference in Tokyo on Sunday, Sony said that it would soon begin restoring its PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services, which were shut down on April 19 after a hacker broke into the systems. The Japanese electronics giant added that it was taking extra security measures to offer its customers greater protection and would create a new security officer position.

"We apologize deeply for causing great unease and trouble to our users," said Kazuo Hirai, Sony's executive deputy president, in the company's first public comments on the crisis since the shutdown.

"The organization has worked around the clock to bring these services back online and is doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks," Hirai said.

Credit cards

Sony can't rule out the theft of users' credit card information

The personal information, including names, addresses, e-mails and birthdates, of some 78 million users was stolen. Sony said it still had no evidence that credit card data was stolen, but that it could not rule it out.

"This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our customers, but our entire industry," said Hirai. "These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber security."

Angry customers

The week-long delay between when the company shut the network down and when it alerted user to the data break has angered many. The fact that Hirai made an upbeat appearance at the unveiling of Sony's first tablet computers only made matter worse. Hirai said the company had wanted to confirm the kind of information that had been stolen before going public.

"We made the announcement as soon as we could, which turned out to be the day after the launch," he said.

Sony said it would offer existing customers incentives to stick with the company, including some free content and 30 days of free membership to a premium service.

Investigations into the incident have been launched by authorities in the US and Europe, where almost 90 percent of the users are based.

Author: Holly Fox (AFP, Reuters)
Editor: Nicole Goebel

DW.DE