Yesterday Sony updated users on how the recent PlayStation Network attack will affect their personal data, and today the company has released a second Q&A detailing how the network outage will affect game content. While no specific details have been announced, Sony says it’s looking into ways to compensate users of subscription-based games and services like streaming service Qriocity.
The gist of the answers relayed by senior director of corporate communications Patrick Seybold is that your game data is just fine. Things like download history, friends lists, and game settings will be unaffected, and any Trophies earned offline will be re-synced once the PSN is back up and running. Users of the Playstation Plus subscription service will be able to access their cloud-based save data once the network is restored.
Seybold also addressed the issue of subscription-based MMOs DC Universe Online and Free Realms, and though no specific details have been revealed, developer Sony Online Entertainment is looking into potential ways to compensate players for the downtime.
“To thank players for their patience, we will be hosting special events across our game portfolio,” SOE said in a statement. “We are also working on a ‘make good’ plan for players of the PS3 versions of DC Universe Online and Free Realms. Details will be available soon on the individual game websites and forums.”
The same goes for PSN as a whole and streaming service Qriocity. Seybold said that Sony is “evaluating ways to show appreciation” to users for the downtime, but specifics as to how that will be done are currently unavailable.
Bringing in the feds
Meanwhile, yesterday Seybold revealed that Sony was working with law enforcement to investigate the attack, and now Kotaku has confirmed that the FBI is involved in that investigation.
“The FBI is aware of the reports concerning the alleged intrusion into the Sony online game server and we have been in contact with Sony concerning this matter,” special agent Darrell Foxworth told Kotaku. “We are presently reviewing the available information in an effort to determine the facts and circumstances concerning this alleged criminal activity.”
That same report reveals that attorneys general from 22 states are currently investigating the situation as well, questioning Sony on the issue of stolen user data. While they are all making individual inquiries—such as sending letters directly to SCEA president Jack Tretton—they are also sharing data to further the investigation. The Federal Trade Commission has been contacted about the situation, but has not confirmed whether or not it will be investigating the matter. Unsurprisingly, one of the major issues being looked into is Sony’s apparent delay in notifying customers of the network breach.
“The fact that sensitive information was apparently accessed without authorization makes me especially concerned about the possibility of financial fraud and targeted phishing scams,” George C. Jespen, attorney general for Connecticut, wrote in a letter to Tretton. “What is more troubling is Sony’s apparent failure to promptly and adequately notify affected individuals of this large-scale breach.”
“In this era of increasing reliance on technology, it is vitally important that all entities entrusted with nonpublic personal information employ the highest levels of data security,” he added. “For a company such as Sony, which manages an extremely large customer database and online network for PlayStation users, the security of consumer information is critical. The fact that children use the PlayStation Network makes this breach, and Sony’s response thereto, all the more disconcerting.”