At E3, Sony apologizes for security breaches

Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO Jack Tretton addresses the "elephant in the room," saying he's sorry for causing anxiety.

Jay Greene Former Staff Writer
Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).
Jay Greene
2 min read

Sony began its briefing at E3 with a mea culpa. It apologized once again for the security breach of its consumer data.

"This isn't the first time I've come to E3 with an elephant in the room," Jack Tretton, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, told the 6,000 gathered at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. So he tackled the issue head on.

"You are the lifeblood of the company," Tretton said, speaking directly to consumers. "I want to apologize personally and on behalf of the company for causing any anxiety."

Tretton also made light of the issue. He joked about the news, acknowledging that the media loves a bad news story.

"To all of our esteemed members of the press, I say, 'You're welcome,' " Tretton said.

Of course, the massive breach of Sony's security was the elephant in the room before the briefing began. Just six weeks ago, Sony acknowledged that some 77 million customers of its PlayStation Network had their personal information comprised. The company shut down the service to staunch the flow of data.

The attacks keep coming. Just today, the LulzSec hacker group released source code from the Sony Computer Entertainment Developer Network as well as internal network maps of Sony BMG, while Sony Pictures Russia and Sony Music Brazil also were attacked.

Three weeks ago, Sony resumed PSN in many countries, though not yet in Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. But not before much public humiliation. In May, Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer apologized for the breach, writing in a blog post, "As a company we--and I--apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack." And last week, Sony gave customers free games to download, premium service, and free movie rentals.

The hacking isn't limited to just Sony's game division. Last month, Sony Music Japan and Sony Ericsson's online store also suffered security breaches by hackers. And last week, hackers targeted Sony Europe, as well as Nintendo and an FBI affiliate called InfraGard Atlanta.