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Sony CEO "unaware" of 2008 PSN hacks

Was the writing on the wall?

Sony emperor Howard Stringer wasn't aware that in 2008, there were three separate attacks on PSN by hackers. In one of them, PSN data was compromised.

Was the writing on the wall?

Howard Stringer told Bloomberg he thought Sony had "good, robust security". He also expressed incomprehension about the April 2011 attacks and why someone would want to attack a free service.

"It didn't seem like the likeliest place for an attack," he said.

"Obviously our network security didn't stop the attack and we're trying to understand why, and we've made big strides in bolstering our security."

More than a month later, Stringer reflects on an incident that will shape Sony's future - but at first he had no idea how serious the situation was.

"I really don't think I could apologise for not knowing," excused Stringer. "It's a whole new experience for everybody at this scale."

A Sony spokesperson said the April 2011 attacks and the 2008 breaches were "unrelated"; the latest, headline-dominating intrusion was "much more sophisticated".

In March 2008, PSN personal information was compromised. Sony told PSN users that no credit-card information was jeopardised and the security flaw that let the hacker in was fixed.

Dan Race, Sony spokesperson, added: "The truth is that people test for vulnerabilities on network systems on a daily basis, and Sony is constantly monitoring for unauthorised activity, conducting our own vulnerability tests and making constant enhancements."

Some elements of the PlayStation Network service have returned, like online gaming. However, the PlayStation Store virtual shop has not. Sony was rumoured to be reviving the Store this week, but dismissed that chatter recently while airing an "end of May" target.

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Robert Purchese

Associate Editor

Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.