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While Sony grovels, further attacks loom and customer data lies exposed

09 May 2011 - 11:56 by Simon Crisp

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Sony has had a rough few weeks, with its PlayStation Network (PSN) and then Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) portals both getting breached and put in a state of limbo. While the company fights to return functionality to the affected systems and looks to win over disgruntled users with freebies, hackers are allegedly working on yet another attack which could further damage the firm's reputation.

The personal details of up to 100 million Sony customers were made available online after a pair of attacks last month, with tens of thousands of customers notified about the fact that their payment card details had been exposed in the malicious raid. Its reputation for providing safe shopping online took a significant knock and the PSN was incapacitated for days.

Sony has since said that the reason for the lengthy downtime of the PSN is that it was combing the system in order to look for the digital footprints left by the intruders.

It announced that a file linking the attack to the Anonymous group of hacktivists had been found, but a statement from this disparate organisation has claimed that it was not responsible and was being framed by cybercriminals looking only for financial gain and with no political goals.

A number of offers are being used by Sony to convince its users that they should continue to access its services and harness its tools for safe shopping online.

Giving customers free subscriptions to various premium platforms seems to be the most popular method for appeasing the disenfranchised, although some have pointed out that they may not be interested in getting unpaid access to services which now look rather insecure.

With reports of a third planned attack circulating online before the weekend and a faltering security reputation, Sony still has a lot of work to do.