Sony delays PlayStation restart

Electronics giant says it has removed personal details of 2,500 people that had been posted by hackers online.

    Howard Stringer, Sony's chief executive, apologised to PlayStation users in a statement on Thursday [REUTERS]

    Electronics giant Sony says that it has removed the personal details of 2,500 people that had been stolen by hackers and posted on the internet.

    The data included names and some addresses from a Sony database created in 2001, a spokeswoman said on Saturday.

    The company also announced that it would be delaying the restart of its PlayStation network.

    Last Sunday, it had said it would begin restoring services within a week, but the company now says this will not be possible, and that no rescheduled date has been fixed for the restart.

    On Friday, the company defended its response to the massive online security breach in a letter to Richard Blumenthal, a US senator from the state of Connecticut who has accused the company of not notifying consumers fast enough.

    Kazuo Kirai, the Japanese electronics company's group chief executive and president, wrote that Sony had worked as quickly as possible to notify consumers about the data theft.

    Blumenthal, a former state attorney-general, had earlier said that Sony acted too slowly in sending out 500,000 emails per hour to consumers after the breach, which exposed the personal data of more than 100 million users of Sony's online video gaming service.

    Unauthorised activity

    Sony says that it cannot rule out the possibility that about 12.3 million credit card numbers were obtained by the hackers responsible for the breach.

    It said that it noticed unauthorised online activity on April 19, and reported the matter to the US Federal Bureau of Investigations on April 22.

    Kirai wrote that it took longer to send the notification emails because they were each personalised to the person they were being sent to.

    He added that the company had complied with various state laws by notifying consumers through online blog posts on the PlayStation website.

    The notification was blogged by Sony on April 26.

    Kirai wrote that Sony had found itself "in the cross-hairs of controversy" and that cyber crime had become a widespread problem in society.

    "What happened to us, though more vast in scope, has happened to many others before," he said.

    In a statement released on Friday, Blumenthal said Sony had taken a "strong first step".

    On Thursday, Howard Stringer, the electronics giant's chief executive, apologised to consumers in a letter posted on PlayStation's website.

    On Friday, Sony's US shares ended 2.3 per cent lower, with the overall market suffering a 1.5 per cent drop. The company's US stock has lost about 6 per cent since the breach was first revealed.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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