Stringer issues apology for 'inconvenience and concern' caused by PSN breach

Capping off a day that's seen his company accused of opening the door to hackers by using outdated software and not using firewalls on its thoroughly compromised PlayStation Network servers, Sony president Sir Howard Stringer has taken to the PlayStation Blog to offer a formal apology for the entire ordeal. In his open letter, Stringer says he and the company are sorry for "the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack," while also addressing what many consider a failure in not letting users know their data was stolen sooner.

"I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It's a fair question," he writes. "I wish we could have gotten the answers we needed sooner, but forensic analysis is a complex, time-consuming process. Hackers, after all, do their best to cover their tracks, and it took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had -- or had not -- been taken."

On the topic of the stolen data being used by the hackers or connected parties, Stringer says that, "to date, there is no confirmed evidence any credit card or personal information has been misused, and we continue to monitor the situation closely." This comes less than an hour after Sony announced that PSN users will receive a free year of ID theft protection from Debix.

Sony says it's in the "final stages" of testing its rebuilt PSN, so hopefully that, combined with Stringer's comments, offers hope that it will get the service back online -- even in a limited form -- by next week.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.