Sony offers $1m identity theft insurance

SCE has arranged $1 million of identity theft insurance for PSN members, while Sony's American president has apologised for the fiasco.


As the Sony hack fiasco groans onward, the company has announced that it's arranged $1 million of identity theft insurance for members in the USA.

Sony has sorted out twelve months of coverage for PlayStation Network and Qriocity members through identity protection firm Debix's AllClear ID Plus scheme. Sony says it "will start sending out activation emails for this program over the next few days," then you'll need to sign up by June 18 to redeem the code.

Debix doesn't list the price of the 'AllClear ID Plus' package, which doesn't seem to be available otherwise. The somewhat similar 'AllClear ID Pro' scheme costs $9.95 per month.

Here's the highlights of the AllClear ID Plus package:

  • 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.

However, it seems this program will not be offered to Sony Online Entertainment users, some of whom have also had personal data stolen.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is also working on arranging identity theft protection for members in its region.

The dreadful situation has also got Sony to wheel out Howard Stringer, president of Sony's entire American arm, to issue an open letter of apology.

"As a company we - and I - apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack. Under the leadership of [Sony Consumer Products & Services Group president] 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," Stringer wrote.

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 for the return of PSN, yesterday Sony began "the final stages of internal testing of the new system," which it says is "an important step towards restoring PlayStation Network and Qriocity services."

The company still hasn't offered a timeframe on when we might expect it to relaunch, beyond Stringer's vague note that "In the coming days, we will restore service to the networks and welcome you back to the fun."

When PSN does relaunch, users will be given a 'Welcome Back' gift of free, yet-unspecified "selected PlayStation entertainment" and the somewhat empty gesture of a free month's PlayStation Plus subscription.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 6, 2011 6:00 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Sony offers $1m identity theft insurance.

    SCE has arranged $1 million of identity theft insurance for PSN members, while Sony's American president has apologised for the fiasco.

    • reply
      May 6, 2011 6:16 AM

      Good job Sony!

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      May 6, 2011 6:16 AM

      This is well done on their part. I appreciate the effort.

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      May 6, 2011 6:18 AM

      I appreciate they are trying and value these efforts. But there are still going to be people wanting to sue Sony for everything they can, and realistically, they are at double fault here (unencrypted data, one week to announce the theft) that they need to reticify even more.

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        May 6, 2011 6:35 AM

        even though they were pretty negligent about their data security, i haven't heard of any actual damages to consumers that resulted from this other than the loss of PSN services. some coincidental maybes, sure....

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          May 6, 2011 6:58 AM

          I know that people are still investigating the reports, but some have claim CC fraud already as a result of the leak. But ignoring CC, privacy breaches do have long tail effects.

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            May 6, 2011 7:33 AM

            yeah it's too soon and too speculative at this point to be suing right now. once things become more concrete (and right before the limitations period) maybe then file the lawsuit

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            May 6, 2011 9:09 AM


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              May 6, 2011 9:19 AM

              I have to agree with your skepticism. I didn't cancel my credit card bound to PSN and nothing has happened to it yet. Either I'm lucky, or people who already had CC numbers are now taking the opportunity to use them hoping they can get away with it by using the PSN thing as a smokescreen.

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              May 6, 2011 10:41 AM

              Again, that's why I say that the reports of CC fraud now solely blaming Sony are a bit too early. There's conflicting info between the reports that say the hackers have the CC data, and Sony that says the PSN had encrypted the cards and thus impossible to get (Sony did state that that one online source did have CC#s taken but they've adamantly stated that the PSN ones are not).

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      May 6, 2011 6:24 AM

      ahh brilliant news.. this is a very good way to earn the respect of the consumer and show that you care, even though it is at a great expense ;)

      i wonder what us lot in UK would get....

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      May 6, 2011 6:34 AM

      Does it come with free email and telephone spam to upsell Debix products?

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      May 6, 2011 6:37 AM

      I'm very surprised they *just* spent $1m on those accounts. Those vouchers are $5 a pop, so that means they only bought 200k of them. I'm familiar with a recent similar situation and think they're really underestimating things.

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      May 6, 2011 8:19 AM

      Crap, does Sony store my credit card if I bought a PS3 game on PSN? I think I removed the credit card on my PS3 but maybe they still have it in their database. Not a PSN+ subscriber.

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        May 6, 2011 8:21 AM

        Yes, your card was probably stored.

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      May 6, 2011 8:29 AM

      the best thing that has come out of this is since I canceled both my cards I can't buy shit and im saving money! thanks sony!

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      May 6, 2011 9:03 AM

      Does this insurance just cover damages in the future or past damages?

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        May 6, 2011 9:21 AM

        it's for the 12 months following the event (so it's both--the past from the breach to now, and the future to 12 months from the breach)

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      May 6, 2011 9:40 AM

      I heard the news that another attack was planned for this weekend on PSN. I hope their new Security Measures are up to it.

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        May 6, 2011 10:01 AM

        unless this is a joke, i really don't see this as a problem considering PSN is still completely offline lol

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        May 6, 2011 12:23 PM

        No joke, I think it was either on G4TV or NBC that i heard it yesterday.

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      May 6, 2011 11:16 AM

      what about us poor old eurofags?

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      May 6, 2011 11:28 AM

      well, it's about time i got my credit card number changed anyways.

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      May 6, 2011 11:32 AM

      So, is there any Shacker that lives far away from me that wants to swap credit card numers? We can spend each spend a million dollars on the other's card and then Sony will reimburse us. This plan is foolproof I assure you.

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      May 7, 2011 9:35 PM

      "for members in the USA" and "Europe"
      Soo.. Canadians just get their identity stolen? nothing for us eh?

      Somehow I'm not surprised..

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