Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer has spoken for the first time about the hack on the PSN and SOE networks, some two weeks after the security breach was made public.

In a bid to bring calm to the situation, Stringer is offering every US users of the PSN an identity theft insurance policy, which is set to cost Sony $1 million (£610,000). Identity theft protection schemes for other countries are set to be announced in due course.

In the 'letter from Howard Stringer', the CEO talks of the "frustration" of the situation and explains that the hack doesn't seem to have taken users' card information.

"To date, there is no confirmed evidence any credit card or personal information has been misused, and we continue to monitor the situation closely.

"As a company we – and I – apologise for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack.

"Under the leadership of Kazuo Hirai, we have teams working around the clock and around the world to restore your access to those services as quickly, and as safely, as possible."

Questions asked

Although Stringer has praised the efforts of his team, he does admit that Sony could have acted quicker once the hack was found.

"I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It's a fair question. As soon as we discovered the potential scope of the intrusion, we shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and hired some of the best technical experts in the field to determine what happened.

"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."

The PSN should be back up in running in the next few days, with "stronger defences", according to Stringer.

Although if there ever was a line to bait hackers with, surely that would be it.