Sony responds to US Gov, Anonymous implicated in PSN/SOE hacks

Sony president Kazuo Hirai submitted written answers to the U.S. government’s burning questions concerning the company’s online security breach, unveiling that analysts discovered the words “Anonymous” and “We are Legion” tucked away inside a file found on Sony Online Entertainment’s servers.

Sony responds to US Gov, Anonymous implicated in PSN/SOE hacks

Recently, the internet hacker group issued a statement declaring its innocence in the cyber break-in that exposed the personal information – including name, address, passwords and possibly credit card numbers – of millions of PSN, Qriocity and SOE members.

Prior to what Sony is now calling a “very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated” attack, Anonymous had taken credit for temporarily disrupting two public Sony sites in addition to sporadic PlayStation Network downtime. The attack – dubbed “OpSony” – was launched in retaliation for the company’s legal prosecution of PS3 hackers George “GeoHot” Hotz and Alexander “graf_chokolo” Egorenkov.

SCEA Corporate Communications and Social Media director Patrick Seybold summarized the company’s response to the House of Representatives subcommittee’s queries with four points in a post today at the official U.S. PlayStation blog:

1) Act with care and caution.

2) Provide relevant information to the public when it has been verified.

3) Take responsibility for our obligations to our customers.

4) Work with law enforcement authorities.

In the 8-page response to Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade members Mary Bono Mack and G.K. Butterfield’s request for answers, Hirai asked for understanding and patience from the governmental body.

“I hope you can appreciate the extraordinary nature of the events the company was facing – brought on by a criminal hacker whose activity was neither immediately nor easily ascertainable,” he wrote.

Maintaining that the company only found out about the magnitude of the attack on April 25th (the attack took place on April 19th), Hirai defended the company’s process of releasing information and said experts were working “around the clock” since the initial breach was discovered.

Hirai confirmed the investigation has yet to identify the individual(s) responsible for the security breach, though the company recently asked several cyber sleuthing companies to lend their expertise and aid in turning up the guilty party. Sony is also working with the FBI towards that end.

On Sunday Hirai apologized to all affected by the data leak during a press conference in Japan. The executive outlined a “Welcome Back” program aimed at mending fences with frustrated consumers.

Anonymous has yet to issue a statement regarding this new implication. This post will be updated if one is released.