Sony: Brand perception 'clearly improving again'

CEO Howard Stringer believes his company was attacked by those who don't want it to be able to "protect" its corporate assets.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer had an upbeat attitude during his company's annual shareholders meeting today, saying that the company's brand is on the upswing following the PlayStation Network security breach.

"Our brand perception, you'll be happy to know, is clearly improving again," Stringer told investors during the meeting in Tokyo, according to the Associated Press. He went on to point out that 90 percent of Sony's PlayStation Network users have come back to the service.

Stringer also sees Sony's online services as an engine of growth despite those attacks, according to Bloomberg.

The trouble for Sony started in April when its PlayStation Network was hacked in a " very sophisticated attack " that forced the company to take down its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. Sony Online Entertainment was also attacked.

Following the breaches, Sony announced that the personal information of 100 million users was taken. The company also reported that credit card data was encrypted, but it had found no evidence to suggest that the identities of any of its users was stolen.

Sony started restoring its PlayStation Network services in May . Earlier this month, it announced the availability of a Welcome Back package featuring free games and movies to coax former members into rejoining its service. It has also offered users a $1 million identity-theft insurance policy for the next year.

Sony has so far been unable to determine who hacked its servers. However, Stringer reportedly told investors that he believes his company was attacked because of its desire to protect intellectual property.

Prior to the breach, Sony engaged in a legal battle with hacker George Hotz, known as Geohot, for allegedly jailbreaking the PlayStation 3 and allowing users to run custom packages on the device. Following a brief legal battle, the parties settled the case in April , just days before the PlayStation Network breach occurred.

Though Sony has so far stopped short of publicly blaming anyone for the breach, Stringer reportedly said during the shareholders meeting that "there are those who don't want us to protect [our corporate assets]."

Going forward, Stringer doesn't necessarily believe that his company can guarantee absolute safety for its PlayStation Network service. In a call with reporters last month, he said that achieving 100 percent security is impossible in today's world.

"Nobody's system is 100 percent secure," Stringer said, according to Bloomberg . "This is a hiccup in the road to a network future."

Sony expects the PlayStation Network breach to cost the company $173 million, the AP said.

 

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