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Hulu, SOE Make Amends For PSN Outage, Cost Estimates Differ For Data Breach

Hulu, SOE Make Amends For PSN Outage, Cost Estimates Differ For Data Breach

April 27, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

Streaming video service Hulu and developer Sony Online Entertainment are making special offers to customers in the wake of a PSN outage and associated customer data breach that could end up costing Sony anywhere from tens of millions to tens of billions.

Hulu Plus subscribers were informed by e-mail today that they will receive a one-week credit for the $8 per month subscription to compensate for the inability to access the service through the PS3 since last Wednesday, even though access through other devices including PCs and smartphones was not affected.

Sony Online Entertainment, meanwhile, has promised to host compensatory special events across all their online games this weekend, according to a Kotaku report. The company also promised it would "make good" with players of the PS3 versions of DC Universe Online and Free Realms, with more specific information to come shortly.

Estimates differ widely regarding how much the breach of PSN customer data associated with the outage will end up costing Sony itself.

Speaking to Forbes, data-security research firm The Ponemon Institute estimates damages from such breaches averaged $318 per compromised record in 2010, which could add up to a cost of over $24 billion in Sony's case, according to the report.

Wedbush Morgan Analyst Michael Pachter, however, told Shacknews he thought overall damage to Sony would be minimal, pinning direct cost of the PSN outage at $10 million in revenues and $3 million in profits per week.

Indirect costs from lowered consumer trust could expand this number, Pachter said, unless Sony makes a concerted effort to redeem itself with free offers to customers in the next few months.

The Rothken law firm has already brought a class action lawsuit against Sony for exposing customer data, and the UK Information Minister has promised to question Sony regarding the affair.

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