Matthew Roszak

In The Press Blog

Sony offers $1M insurance policy to protect U.S. PSN users from identity theft

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Sony said in a blog post today that it will offer free enrollment in an identity theft protection program for all U.S. members of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services as compensation for the loss of their personal records.

The PSN online game and Qriocity entertainment service have been down for more than two weeks after hackers attacked the networks and stole personal information on more than 77 million users. Sony said it still hasn’t determined if user credit card numbers were stolen or not, but it’s possible as many as 10 million numbers were accessed.

Users haven’t been able to play online games, buy items on Sony’s digital store, or watch movies on its entertainment network. Sony didn’t say how much the program will cost, but it clearly won’t be cheap. Sony chief executive Howard Stringer just apologized to all the users as he announced the insurance protection.

In the U.S., Sony’s game division and Sony Network Entertainment International have arranged to provide identity protection at no cost from Debix, a reputable identity protection firm. Sony said it will make similar programs available in other territories where applicable. The Debix protection, dubbed AllClear ID Plus, will be in effect for 12 months.

Sony will start sending out activation emails for this program in the next few days, and users will have until June 18 to sign up and redeem the code. Users will sign up through AllClear ID, not through Sony web sites. Details will come in an email from Sony soon.

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