Sony is busy today, putting up no less than three updates on the official PlayStation Blog, to discuss preparations for the restoration of the PlayStation Network, a letter from Sony CEO Howard Stringer, and details on the new AllClear ID Plus Identity Theft Protection program offering.
First up is a post from Sony Sr. Director of Corporate Communications & Social Media Patrick Seybold about preparations to restore the PlayStation Network. According to Seybold, Sony's global network and security teams have begun the "final stages of internal testing of the new system." Seybold said that all of this is an important step towards restoring PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. Full post below:
"Today our global network and security teams at Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment began the final stages of internal testing of the new system, an important step towards restoring PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.
As previously mentioned, we’ve been working around the clock to rebuild the network and enhance protections of your personal data. It’s our top priority to ensure your data is safe when you begin using the services again.
We understand that many of you are eager to again enjoy the PlayStation Network and Qriocity entertainment services that you love, so we wanted you to be aware of this milestone and our progress. We will provide additional updates as soon as we can."
Next up is a post about Sony's plan to offer a 12-month subscription to AllClear ID Plus for free to all PSN users. Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment International have made arrangements with Debix, to offer AllClear ID Plus at no cost to PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders for 12 months. Sony says that it will be sending out activation emails for this program over the next few days. Customers will have until June 18 to sign-up and redeem the free code. Step-by-step instructions for the program will be emailed to United States PSN and Qriocity Account holders soon.
Finally, Howard Stringer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony Corporation issued an open letter to the community. In it Stringer acknowledged the frustration that PS3 owners feel, and insisted that there was no evidence that any personal or credit card information has been misused. The full letter can be found below:
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,