What is Sony going to do next after the major PlayStation hack?

What can you do after discovering that hackers have gained access to personal details of more than 70m PlayStation users!? The PlayStation online network has been down since last week, after the discovery of a serious hacking incident.

Even though the PlayStation blog claims that “there is no evidence at this stage that credit card data was taken” it does not rule out the possibility. It looks like other personal user data like users’ names and email addresses have definitely been obtained by hackers. It raises the question what Sony PlayStation is going to do about this or whether there’s anything it can do about this in the first place:

  1. Trying to inform and advise users – Although I’m not entirely convinced by the quality and frequency of its updates, PlayStation is trying to inform its users on ongoing basis.
  2. Investigate, reassure and improve – This clearly is a massive disaster for Sony and PlayStation, both from a PR and commercial perspective. You can imagine they will be pulling all the plugs in communicating and assuring the public.

Main learning point: the scale and the impact of this hack is clearly very significant. It will be interesting to learn more about how Sony PlayStation will handle this disaster, both from a PR and a ‘lessons learned’ point of view. More importantly, will it put users off from playing the PlayStation?

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UPDATE on 3rd May 2011: Last night Sony revealed that hackers managed to break into their servers on 16 and 17 April, stealing data from approximately 24.6m of its Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) users …

The personal data from the SOE accounts includes name, address, email address, birth date, gender, phone number, login name and hashed password. The data from the 10,700 debit card records that may have been stolen by hackers includes bank account number, customer name, account name and customer address. All SOE accounts have been suspended whilst Sony continues to investigate this matter.

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