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Sony CEO: Hackers Haven't Held Us Back

Stocks in this article: SNE

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sony (SNE) has bounced back from a wave of hacking attacks on its PlayStation business earlier this year, according to CEO Sir Howard Stringer, who says that digital assaults are an occupational hazard for major firms.

"The press was on us for four days until somebody else got hacked and everyone realized that hacking is a fact of life," he said, during a briefing event organized by The Wall Street Journal. "We took it on the chin over and over again -- the problem that we have is that we were alone out there, so nobody had anything else to write about that month."

Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer

Sony's security travails certainly grabbed plenty of headlines. In May, the company confirmed that it was the victim of a massive denial-of-service attack, likely timed to coincide with the hacking of its PlayStation Network. Sony subsequently warned its 77 million users that their private account details, such as passwords, addresses and credit cards, may have been compromised after the network was infiltrated by the unknown hacker.

The Japanese tech giant was even forced to pull the PlayStation Network down while it dealt with the hacking attack, although the service was fully restored in early June.

Not that customers have taken their frustration out on Sony, according to Stringer. "They came back -- they were not angry with us," said Stringer. "They were upset that they had lost their ability to connect to their favorite service."

The PlayStation network, he added, now has approximately 90 million users.

Stringer also reiterated the company's belief that Sony was the victim of a sophisticated vendetta orchestrated by elements within the hacking community.

"The target opportunity was a revenge attack, initially -- it was because we went after a hacker who hacked PlayStation," he said. "PlayStation is vital to us, and so we were afraid that it would essentially destroy a PlayStation."

The CEO explained that Sony has significantly bolstered its security defenses in the aftermath of the hacking attacks. "We have done a lot to stop that," he said. "We have brought in a lot of forensic studies -- we have brought in executives, that you have read about in the papers, that are dealing with this constantly."

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