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Sony boss says sorry, but UK users miss out on compensation

There's more bad news for Sony, currently scrambling to say sorry to users whose details were stolen. UK and European users are yet to receive compensation -- and there's more hack attacks on the horizon.

There's more bad news for Sony after the breach that saw thieves gain access to personal and financial details of more than 100 million PlayStation Network users. The company is scrambling to make it up to those affected, but UK and European users are yet to receive the compensation measures offered to US users. As if Sony wasn't far enough up excrement creek, online protest group Anonymous is reported to be planning more hack attacks on Sony websites.

Until now, Sony's gaming wonks have been doing all the apologising, but the company's grand high muckamuck Sir Howard Stringer has now broken his silence. In a letter on the PlayStation blog, the Welsh wizard assures the world that the company is "absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience".

Those rewards for your patience include a one-month free subscription to Sony services and extensions to your subscriptions to make up for the lost time. The Sony PlayStation Network, Qriocity and Sony Online Entertainment services have been offline for more than two weeks now.

American users affected by the breach are to be awarded free identity theft insurance. Sony says "we are working to make similar programmes available in other countries/territories where applicable", which isn't massively reassuring -- several million European users had direct debit and credit card details included in the cyber thieves haul.

Sony says a denial of service attack by online protest group Anonymous allowed the daring cyber thieves to thwart Sony's security and half-inch our personal data. Representatives of Anonymous object to being made a scapegoat with a letter stating, "While we are a distributed and decentralised group, our 'leadership' does not condone credit card theft." But as Anonymous is a nebulous collective of anarchists, it's difficult to know if communications from the group -- or indeed Sony's claims -- are entirely reliable.

No matter who posted the letter, we imagine it jibes with the feelings of everyone involved in the group -- no-one wants to be painted a patsy by a multinational corporation looking to shift the blame for a major balls-up.

The letter claiming to be from Anonymous ends ominously: "We do not forgive, even if others forgive our enemies for those things for which we are attacked. We do not forget, even if others fail to remember. We are legion, and will remain so no matter how many of our participants are raided by armed agents of a broken system. We are Anonymous. Expect us."

Sony should expect another attack very soon, some sources warn: an observer of the Internet Relay Chat channel used by the hackers told our American chums at CNET News.com that a third major attack is planned this weekend against Sony's websites.

What compensation can Sony offer you that would make up for this disaster? Will you return to the Sony fold or is Sir Howard and company dead to you? And since the PlayStation Network has been closed, what have you been doing with yourself? Let us know how you've been passing the time in the comments or on our Facebook wall.