Sony agrees to $15m settlement for 2011 PSN attack

Remember the large-scale attack that brought down the PlayStation Network all the way back in 2011? If so, you're probably not alone. Even though it happened around three years ago, it still affects many customers to this day. The Anonymous-sponsored attacks lead to a loss of names, passwords, identity theft, and possibly even stolen credit card information. As such, a class action lawsuit was filed against the company. Due to this, Sony has finally agreed to a preliminary settlement of $15m, which may be able to appease most of the customers that suffered from this attack.

The PlayStation Network users that did not partake in the "Welcome Back" program that Sony unveiled shortly after their online services were brought back will be able to choose from two of the following benefit options: One PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable game selected from a list of 14 games; three PlayStation 3 themes selected from a list of six themes; or a three-month subscription to PlayStation Plus free of charge. Claiming these benefits will be done on a first come, first serve basis, according to the Washington Examiner's report, and are subject to a $6m cap.

The settlement isn't just about free games or services. Customers with documented identity theft charges are eligible for up to $2,500 per claim. Additionally, users of the old Qriocity service will be able to have a month's access to Music Unlimited for free as retribution. Further, MMO players that lost time on their favorite games are eligible for a $4.50 credit that will be made out to their Sony Online Entertainment accounts. Sony seems to be trying to please customers that were affected by this attack by offering free stuff, just like when they unveiled the "Welcome Back" program in 2011, and yet again, it doesn't seem like anyone is complaining.

Source: Washington Examiner | Image via Gizmodo

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> Sony has finally agreed to a preliminary settlement of $15m, which may be able to appease most of the customers that suffered from this attack.

$15M will appease the lawyers, not the customers.

Should have been more. Sony were horrible irresponsible with users personal data, not only did they not even have a Head Of Security, they never patched their linux servers and held peoples personal data in clear text.

Their security was grossly incompetent and anyone should think twice about allowing them to have access to your important data.

The "Welcome back" program list is wrong in the article (though it's possible it was different for different parts of the world I suppose):

I remember getting 2 PS3 games and a month of PSN Plus for sure. And if you had multiple accounts on the system (secondary accounts, family members, friends, etc) then you could get 2 for each of those accounts as well (as long as the account was created before the outage). :D

Those weeks when it was down were dark times, but I remember being really happy when it came back and getting some decent games for free. If anything, I think they capitalized on some of the games they gave for free because they released DLC (that you had to pay for, of course) for it not too long after.

Never personally heard of anyone affected by this, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are some out there, but the article doesn't give any actual numbers on those affected directly by the PSN attack.

Edited by Tha Bloo Monkee, Jul 24 2014, 9:26am :

When PSN was offline for a month, I wouldn't connect to Netflix via the PS3. What I didn't understand is why do i need to authenticate through PSN to then login to Netflix. Why?

You don't need to authenticate, I believe, if you fail to authenticate the app should still launch. At least it does on my PS3. But it's possible it contacts the PSN service and that it must be up regardless if you need to auth or not.

Netflix worked when it was down; I remember. But you had to do something like hit cancel and then try again, or something along those lines because it would initially prompt you to log in.

Edited by Tha Bloo Monkee, Jul 24 2014, 9:37am :


While offering free stuff is better than nothing, I really think stronger consumer protections needs to be in place for these kinds of issues. Companies need to be disincentivised from not following proper security procedures, and the idea that SONY will get to write-off giving away credits towards service usage and electronic downloads of games really does not compensate those users who were affected by the breach, nor does it strongly encourage positive future behavior on the part of SONY.


Aryeh Goretsky

Agreed, Aryeh. The only want to make this issue more prominent for companies is to threaten their bottom line.

Market forces don't work in this scenario, because the user only knows there's a problem after there's been a breach.