Gaming Nexus debate: The PSN Data Breach


posted 5/4/2011 by Jeremy Duff
other articles by Jeremy Duff
One Page Platforms: PS3 PSP
What sort of things would you like to see (or have seen) handled differently?

The Haters...
Tina Amini: Sony is a bit uptight, and stubborn. It doesn't seem that they really sympathize with the situation. Rather, their response indicates a tone of "well, this is an unfortunate incident but we're doing everything we can do." There are arguments that there was plenty more that Sony could have done. For instance - and, for the record, I do not know the validity of this point - there are assumptions that Sony did not even encrypt the personal information that was attained. They allegedly left all of it in plain text. Way to make a hacker's job more accessible. Even when considering the Hotz debacle, Sony has always felt entitled in their position rather than basing decisions off of what the right thing is to do. Their recent business decisions leave them looking greedy. The industry and gamer community has always appreciated a company that has good customer service and a humane outlook on handling their business. Look at Valve. Everything from Gabe Newell's timely email responses to fans to his decision to keep Erik Wolpaw on staff after a disconcerting diagnosis by Erik's doctor. Gabe's compassion for his employees is what made the Portal franchise possible. It's that kind of behavior that leads to good things (namely, Portal) and an incredibly dedicated fanbase.

Matt Mikrovich: Offer up a little more transparency. I get that they are a private entity but when it comes to potential damages to your customers you'd like to think they'd be as helpful as possible in the matter. I don't think just linking people to Annual Credit Report sites offers up the best solution to the problem. Again, don't act like your customers don't exist in a time of crisis, they are the crux of your business in this market, and you'd like to keep your impression amongst them strong. Feeling like an afterthought while my financial information may or may not be out in wild is a disheartening experience as a consumer.

Charles Husemann: Should have been significantly more up front at the start of the entire process and said that customer data may have been exposed but that they are looking into it and will verify things later. That would at least have given people the heads up to start watching their credit cards. Also a little annoyed that they didn't mention what was/was not encrypted a bit sooner.

Ben Berry: They aren’t sure if credit card information was stolen, but passwords and the like were. How many of us try to use a single well made password for most of our accounts? If they have email and password, they have everything for some folks. When they knew they had a breech and they knew it was un-hashed personal data, customers should have been alerted within 24 hours.

The More Forgiving...
Russell Archey: As stated above, the thing that annoyed me the most was seeing that the PSN was down for an extended period of time, but we were not told why. I know it could take some time to determine the extent of the damage, but if there's even the slightest bit of a security breach detected, consumers need to know as soon as possible, not one week later.

Shawn Sines: Again, maybe I'm biased, but I think they handled this pretty well overall. They were forthcoming about the issues once they had the data to support it. This disruption sucks for people, but come on, this was not a great conspiracy by Sony to fleece you of your money or time playing...this is a negative business action with significant primary and secondary losses for the company. There is a line you have to walk with transparency when you discover a problem and have not the time or resources to immediately mediate or mitigate it.

Jeremy Duff: The only thing that I would have changed would have been in the area of timeliness, but I firmly believe that they were held up / stalled by the security investigation that was launched by the security services they obtained. They stuttered with their first few steps, leaving us (gamers) in the dark for the first few days, which was/ is discerning but then they seemed to have gotten their stuff together.

John Yan: After all said and done and I've thought about it, I can't think of anything I would want them to do differently.

Do you think that this will have a lasting effect on Sony’s current standing in the gaming industry?

The Pessimists’ Perspectives...
Tina Amini: Gamers know how to hold a grudge, and they never forget when they've been slighted. Take a look at Duke Nukem Forever. Even after extended previews and the game being showcased at major conventions, there are still many who spew the same joke of, "I'll believe it when it's in my hands and I'm playing it, and even then it's a toss up." After such a breach of trust, Sony will have a hard time regaining that from their consumers. It's said that you should treat others as you want them to treat you, and it's obvious that Sony doesn't have much respect for anyone but themselves.

A Little Here and There...
Matt Mirkovich: Unfortunately not, though they have pretty much forced me to purchase PSN cards going forward. I think older gamers will definitely feel jilted by the inconvenience caused by needing to perform what should be routine online behavior (in changing passwords, checking credit reports and bank accounts), and that isn't something people should have to be worried about when they just want to play video games. In the end the only way Sony can affect their standing in the gaming industry is by releasing quality content and working with developers to make sure their console has the best games while at the same time listening to what the fanbase wants for the console (Like bringing back PS2 functionality to the console).

Charles Husemann: Eventually it will fade but gamers have long term memories. This is in a sense Sony's Red Ring of Death except much, much, worse.

Ben Berry: There will be a dark cloud for a while, and I think the PSN network is certainly going to be set back for the foreseeable future. But in terms of their overall standing in the gaming industry, the minute they announce the new PlayStation, interest will be there

Russell Archey: Maybe not necessarily in the gaming industry as a whole, but possibly from an online standpoint, mostly in terms of gamers buying things off of the PlayStation Network.

John Yan: As long as there aren't any really badly affected users with large amounts of money taken, I think they will be OK. They've been around long enough and they have many loyal followers. We'll see how badly the data gets abused, but I think they will be OK.

Mostly Sunny...
Shawn Sines: No, the attention span of gamers is 32.5 seconds.. once the service is restored the fickle, vocal Internet will move on to complaining about some politician or the latest 4Chan debate.

Jeremy Duff: Despite the fact that gamers have a habit of holding severe grudges, I think that they are easily swayed with a little bit of glamor and pizazz. By the time that E3 rolls around and the focus is onto their newest games and devices, this whole ordeal will be nothing more than an afterthought.

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