2011 PlayStation Network Hack Reaches Settlement Process

Jonathan R. Clauson

Sony has never had a good track record when it comes to security of their products and networks. The now infamous CD DRM fiasco of 2005 put the tech giant in the cross hairs of angry computer savvy individuals and they have never really been able to dodge that image. In 2011, an attack from a loose confederation of hackers brought down the PSN for nearly a month. The damages to Sony included an expected loss in the $170 million range. The settlement process for Sony customers is now rolling out with PlayStation users being offered a variety of games to choose from as well as other reimbursement options.

According to Games Industry, Sony has agreed to pay out $15 million of reparations for the 2011 PSN hack. The estimated 77 million affected customers using PSN, Sony Online Entertainment or Qriocity will be offered the following plans pending a final approval from a judge: a free games, several PlayStation 3 themes or a three month PlayStation Plus subscription. The image below taken from Eurogamer is a screen shot of the options available to users who go through the claim process.

The games available to choose from in the settlement are:

The claims process can be started by visiting the PSN-SOE Settlement site here. The law suit only covers users in the United States so gamers in other countries are ineligible for the compensation. A hearing on May 1 of this year will give the final go ahead on the offering for the 2011 PSN hack and claims will be able to be filed through August 31, 2015.

Users who can also prove out-of-pocket expenses due to the identity theft that occurred for users of PSN, can be reimbursed up to $2,500 from Sony unless the total claims exceed $1 million in which case the pay out would be scaled down depending on the total amount.

In 2011, the PlayStation Network was brought down by less than scrupulous hackers. PSN was down for a total of 23 days affecting PlayStation and PlayStation Portable users. The attack also exposed some poor security practices by Sony which included unencrypted passwords leading to usernames, addresses and for some gamers, credit card information being distributed across the internet to less than honest individuals. Sony also caught heat for neglecting to inform customers of the data breach until almost a week had passed.

[Image Source | Shutterstock]