In the wake of a massive data breach that saw PlayStation Network subscribers’ information stolen by unknown hackers, Sony Computer Entertainment has been scrambling restore their online gaming service — but getting it back online may not be enough, if one U.S. Senator’s demands are to be taken seriously.
Responding to news of the hack, which Sony says may have exposed the profile information — including credit cards — of over 75 million subscribers, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) penned a letter asking why Sony did not announce details of the hack days earlier.
The breach reportedly occurred on April 19 but was not revealed until Monday, some six days later.
“When a data breach occurs, it is essential that customers be immediately notified about whether and to what extent their personal and financial information has been compromised,” he wrote.
Blumenthal also insisted that Sony provide affected customers with “financial data security services” that include free credit reports for up to two years, paid for by the electronics manufacturer. The Senator also said that Sony should provide insurance to protect customers from identity theft, should it occur.
“Although the breach occurred nearly a week ago, Sony has not notified customers of the intrusion, or provided information that is vital to allowing individuals to protect themselves from identity theft, such as informing users whether their personal or financial information may have been compromised,” Blumenthal wrote. “Nor has Sony specified how it intends to protect these consumers.
“PlayStation Network users deserve more complete information on the data breach, as well as the assurance that their personal and financial information will be securely maintained.”
Responding to the Senator, a Sony spokesman told gaming blog Kotaku that the company did not announce details of the hack until Monday because they were still trying to figure out what had actually happened.
“[We] brought in outside experts to help us learn how the intrusion occurred and to conduct an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident,” the company explained. “It was necessary to conduct several days of forensic analysis, and it took our experts until yesterday to understand the scope of the breach. We then shared that information with our consumers and announced it publicly this afternoon.”
Sony has not said what they will do to help affected subscribers.
Messages left for Sony Computer Entertainment America’s media relations team went unreturned. Similarly, a spokesman for Sen. Blumenthal was unavailable for comment.
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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