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May 5, 2011 // 5:28 pm - Today Sony's Senior Director of Corporate Communications & Social Media Patrick Seybold has announced that they are offering free AllClear ID Plus Identity Theft Protection in the United States (and coming soon to Europe as detailed HERE) through Debix, Inc.

To quote: Last weekend, Sony Computer Entertainment announced that we will provide complimentary enrollment in an identity theft protection program.

Here are the details of this program for PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders in the United States only. We are working to make similar programs available in other countries/territories where applicable. Information will be posted on local websites/blogs when available.

Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment International have made arrangements with Debix, Inc., one of the industry's most reputable identity protection firms, to offer AllClear ID Plus at no cost to PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders for 12 months from the time an account holder registers for the program.

Please note that we will start sending out activation emails for this program over the next few days, and you will have until June 18th to sign-up and redeem your code. You will need to sign up directly through AllClearID, not on Sony's websites, and details, including step-by-step instructions for the program, will be emailed to United States PSN and Qriocity Account holders soon.

The details of the program include, but are not limited to:

• Cyber monitoring and surveillance of the Internet to detect exposure of an AllClear ID Plus customer's personal information, including monitoring of criminal web sites and data recovered by law enforcement.

If his/her personal information is found, the customer will be alerted by phone and/or email and will be provided advice and support regarding protective steps to take. The customer will also receive monthly identity status reports. Debix works with an alliance of cyber-crime experts from the government, academia and industry to provide these services.

• Priority access to licensed private investigators and identity restoration specialists. If an AllClear ID Plus customer receives an alert, or otherwise suspects that he/she may be the victim of identity theft, the customer can speak directly, on a priority basis, with an on-staff licensed private investigator, who will conduct a comprehensive inquiry.

In the case of an identity theft, the customer can work with an identity restoration specialist to contact creditors and others, and take necessary steps to restore the customer's identity.

• A $1 million identity theft insurance policy per user to provide additional protection in the event that an AllClear ID Plus customer becomes a victim of identity theft. This insurance would provide financial relief of up to $1 million for covered identity restoration costs, legal defense expenses, and lost wages that occur within 12 months after the stolen identity event.

More information will be available on the enrollment page, a link which will be included in the email you will receive.

We continue to work around the clock to have some PlayStation Network services and Qriocity services restored, and will be providing you specific details shortly. Thank you.

In related news today, Sony has also posted the following important step to reassure PSN service restoration, to quote:

Today our global network and security teams at Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment began the final stages of internal testing of the new system, an important step towards restoring PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.

As previously mentioned, we've been working around the clock to rebuild the network and enhance protections of your personal data. It's our top priority to ensure your data is safe when you begin using the services again.

We understand that many of you are eager to again enjoy the PlayStation Network and Qriocity entertainment services that you love, so we wanted you to be aware of this milestone and our progress. We will provide additional updates as soon as we can.

Finally, Sony's Howard Stringer has posted a letter to PSN users which states the following, to quote:

Dear Friends,

I know this has been a frustrating time for all of you.

Let me assure you that the resources of this company have been focused on investigating the entire nature and impact of the cyber-attack we've all experienced and on fixing it. We are absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience. We will settle for nothing less.

To date, there is no confirmed evidence any credit card or personal information has been misused, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. We are also moving ahead with plans to help protect our customers from identity theft around the world. A program for U.S. PlayStation Network and Qriocity customers that includes a $1 million identity theft insurance policy per user was launched earlier today and announcements for other regions will be coming soon.

As we have announced, we will be offering a "Welcome Back" package to our customers once our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are up and running. This will include, among other benefits, a month of free PlayStation Plus membership for all PSN customers, as well as an extension of subscriptions for PlayStation Plus and Music Unlimited customers to make up for time lost.

As a company we – and I – apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack. Under the leadership of Kazuo Hirai, we have teams working around the clock and around the world to restore your access to those services as quickly, and as safely, as possible.

I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It's a fair question. As soon as we discovered the potential scope of the intrusion, we shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and hired some of the best technical experts in the field to determine what happened.

I wish we could have gotten the answers we needed sooner, but forensic analysis is a complex, time-consuming process. Hackers, after all, do their best to cover their tracks, and it took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had – or had not – been taken.

As a result of what we discovered we notified you of the breach. Our investigation is ongoing, and we are upgrading our security so that if attacks like this happen again, our defenses will be even stronger.

In the last few months, Sony has faced a terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But now we are facing a very man-made event - a criminal attack on us – and on you – and we are working with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies around the world to apprehend those responsible.

In the coming days, we will restore service to the networks and welcome you back to the fun. I wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we are committed to serving you to the very best of our ability, protecting your information better than ever, and getting you back to what you signed up for - all the games and great entertainment experiences that you expect from Sony.

With best regards,
Howard Stringer

Sony Offers Free AllClear ID Plus Identity Theft Protection & More

PlayStation Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and join us at our new site WWW.PSXHAX.COM!

#19 - PS4 News - May 6, 2011 // 8:25 am
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Get a Twitter, you know you want to... hehe

#18 - elser1 - May 6, 2011 // 8:12 am
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yeah i looked into it before, but i don't have a twitter..

thanks team

#17 - PS4 News - May 6, 2011 // 7:17 am
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Quote Originally Posted by elser1 View Post
what is the tweets tab about.. another new feature eh.. is it for general or subject related etc..

Yep, it is basically a microforum that pulls our topics in for discussion in Twitterland with users from here and abroad... I believe it takes a bit to be activated though (when it is, you should see the bottom part of the box become populated) but for an example of what an active one looks like see theirs here:

#16 - oVERSoLDiER - May 6, 2011 // 7:10 am
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They offer it, because they want the customers to feel secure. I think, they offer it, ehmm, yeah, 2 months too late ?!

#15 - pig098 - May 6, 2011 // 6:59 am
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LoL.... they are giving you free stuff.. so many people still whining over Sony suing Geo while back.

#14 - elser1 - May 6, 2011 // 6:45 am
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Quote Originally Posted by PSPSwampy View Post
Can i just say this on behalf of all non US resident individuals... I've got nothing against americans , but Sony - FFS what about the rest of the planet!

"Soon" ?? - not soon enough if you ask me.

PS3 / Sony: It only does PR, Security, the truth... BADLY

its disgusting eh!! too bad if youre a lowly australian customer like me.. Lol i honestly have not even had my email to update me to the fact this happened..even my friend has who set up psn like about 2 weeks before this happened.. and hasn't been on psn except for vidzone.. all i can say i hope they can prove they did inform me if there is a lawsuit in australia..

what is the tweets tab about.. another new feature eh.. is it for general or subject related etc..

#13 - jedaking - May 6, 2011 // 6:45 am
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I will never give them my personal or account information again! They say that it's a miner problem for them, that they were hacked! never never. They don't care about you..

#12 - geowrian - May 6, 2011 // 6:11 am
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"As a company we - and I - apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack."

But you're *still* not sorry about improperly securing your systems or customer data? Sony's sorry about our "inconvenience" and our feelings over the attack? No - you should be sorry for letting it happen. You should be sorry for not alerting users of a potential disclosure sooner. You should be sorry for allowing our data to be taken. You should be sorry for *your* mistakes.

You don't get it, messed up. No security is foolproof, but don't act like you didn't screw up. Quit trying to deflect and scapegoat, and "man-up" to your problems.

#11 - spark32 - May 6, 2011 // 2:40 am
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Canadians like me still don`t get anything back when our money and identities are stolen.

#10 - alchybear - May 6, 2011 // 1:53 am
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OMFG this seems like a fricken true setup, Sony you liars you shut it down trying to blame hackers on purpose. When it was your employees that gave you a two week notice and they took it to an advantage to make you suffer from this. Now you see this as a big jump to make an ID theft program in PS3? And expect us to wanna pay for that when all this was a lie? Frik you Sony.