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PlayStation Network Breach Set to Cost Sony at Least $171 Million

May 24, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

Sony Group announced yesterday that its recent PlayStation Network hack will cost it at least $171 million.  But the company also warned the total cost of the breach could exceed even that, as the $171 million doesn’t account for the cost of lawsuits and other unknowns.

The Sony PlayStation Network hack ensnared more than 100 million users of the PlayStation Network, Qtriocity and Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) network.   Even now, the network has only been partially restored, with Sony promising to have everything back online by the end of this month.

About 12 million of those impacted by the hack had credit card information with Sony.  The company maintains that so far it has not received any confirmed reports of customer identity theft issues, nor confirmed any misuse of credit cards from the attack.

The $171 million bill for the security hack includes costs Sony will incur to cover restitution being offered to affected customers.  That compensation includes a year’s subscription to the AllClear ID Plus identity theft prevention service. The monitoring service comes with a $1 million insurance policy to cover any losses due to identity theft.

In an announcement yesterday, Sony chief financial officer Masaru Kato warned that the $171 million figure could grow, especially if it turns out that credit card numbers have been compromised.

Another big if that could cause the final figure to grow is the litigation sparked by the hack. Already, Sony faces two class action lawsuits over the PlayStation Network security breach, one filed in the U.S. and another in Canada.   The Canadian lawsuit is seeking at least $1 billion.

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