3. Sony's PlayStation Network gets pwned
Sony, you really stepped in it. And then you kept grinding and grinding your shoe in it.
Here's a reminder of what "it" was: Sony tried to strong-arm PlayStation "modders" who were modifying their consoles so they could do more things with them, like play homebrew and pirated games. After George Hotz, aka "Geohot," hacked his PlayStation 3 and released information on the Web so others could jailbreak their PS3s, Sony took him to court. Sony also demanded to know who had visited Hotz's Web site.
So guess what happened? Down went several Sony sites due to a distributed denial-of-service attack, the first of many. In one of the biggest data breaches ever, names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and possibly credit card data of about 77 million people were exposed when intruders broke into Sony's PlayStation Network and Qriocity services about two weeks after the DDoS attack. So, did Sony swiftly warn customers about the potential for credit card fraud? Nope, they waited a week, and then they shut the sites down. The outage lasted more than three weeks. Lawsuits, not surprisingly, ensued.
Sure, executive Kaz Hirai apologized, and Sony announced a "Welcome Back" program for affected customers. But the apology got lost in the trash when Sony also changed the terms of service for its PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network so customers are now forced to waive the right to sue.
Translation: We're very sorry. We promise to not let you sue us again.
--By Elinor Mills
November 23, 2011 12:00 AM PST
Photo by: Graphic by James Martin/CNET
| Caption by: James Martin
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