Sony's CEO, Howard Stringer, apologized for the "inconvenience and concern" caused by the security breach that potentially included the credit card information of nearly 77 million users to be compromised. Stringer also said that his company was working on investigating the breach and fixing the attack. "We're absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience."
Sony, Japan's biggest consumer-electronics exporter will offer a $1 million insurance policy per user, covering legal expenses, identity-restoration costs and lost wages that occur after data is stolen, Sony said in a blog post. Austin, Texas-based Debix Inc. was hired to provide the monitoring service and similar programs for users in other countries are also being considered, it said.
Sony didn't elaborate whether the program will cover identity theft that isn't related to the mid-April breach of the PlayStation and Qriocity networks, which affected 77 million accounts. Separately, some 24.6 million users of the Sony Online Entertainment platform were also affected, the company said.
"I know this's a frustrating time for all of you," CEO Stringer said in the blog post. "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."
Sony has faced a legal and political backlash over delays in the time it took to warn customers their accounts had been compromised. Users were alerted of the breach April 27, six days after the shutdown of the movie and music-streaming services. The company hired technical experts to find out the problem.
"I wish we could have gotten the answers we needed sooner, but forensic analysis is a complex, time-consuming process," Stringer wrote. "Hackers, after all, do their best to cover their tracks. It took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had, or had not, been taken."