Sony Attacked Again as Chief Calls PSN Outage a 'Hiccup'

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Sony Attacked Again as Chief Calls PSN Outage a 'Hiccup'
The weeks-long outage for Sony's PlayStation Network and other networks was just a "hiccup," Sony CEO Howard Stringer says. And despite critics, Stringer says Sony notified users about the loss of personal information faster than most companies. He also said Sony had "no reason" to suspect insufficient security, despite running outdated software.
As Sony's PlayStation and other networks slowly come back online after weeks of being down, CEO Howard Stringer is pushing back at critics. In comments to news media on Tuesday, Stringer said he can't guarantee the security of the networks, and he defended the speed at which his company notified users.

He added that the unprecedented outage was the "beginning, unfortunately, or the shape of things to come." But, he added, this attack and resulting downtime was only a "hiccup" in the company's long road map to "a networked future."

On Wednesday, Sony's web pages requiring network users to reset passwords were taken down as the pages were reportedly exploited by hackers. Reportedly, the hackers only need a user's e-mail address and date of birth, data grabbed during the initial attack on Sony's networks.

Not 'Fast Enough'?

The company has been criticized by industry observers and members of Congress for not revealing earlier that users' personal data may have been taken. The initial security breach was noticed by Sony on April 19, the PlayStation Network was shut down on April 20, and users were notified of the data breach and possible loss of personal information on April 26.

Sony has said it wasn't sure about the data loss until April 25. Stringer said talking about the loss of data before it was confirmed would have been "irresponsible." He compared it to finding out if things are missing, if "your house has been burglarized," before you call the police.

He noted that many security breaches by companies go unreported, and 43 percent of companies take up to a month to notify users. "We reported in a week," he said. "You're telling me my week wasn't fast enough?"

Stringer also said the company had "no reason" to believe it had insufficient security, since PSN had been operational for five years and Sony Online Entertainment for 10, and neither had experienced major security problems. The company has learned, he said, that "we just have to keep improving our security."


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