May 03, 2011, 11:12 AM — If you're the head of any important service at a big company – especially if it's a sensitive one like security – you know it's not going to be a good week if stories in the global media refer to the most recent canned reassurance to customers as the company's "latest" apology.
Especially if the previous apology was only a day or two before.
If you'd been nailed by Anonymous, the hactivist group that successfully attacked Iran, China, Libya, Egypt, MasterCard, Visa and the Church of Scientology, you'd at least be in good company.
Sony had to counter rumors that Anonymous was the culprit, though, after Anonymous itself announced "for once we didn't do it."
The series of attacks on various Sony properties is making one of the largest high-tech companies in the world look like it secured its front gate like a fortress, but never put a latch on the screen door out back.
The company that once bragged its game console was essentially unhackable (before it was successfully hacked by a 20-year-old), first had to close down its Playstation networks, admit it had lost personal data on customers, and now has had to close down the networks running its pure-online games like Everquest 2 and DC Universe Online.
Initial reports said hackers might have taken personal information on as many as 77 million people. Sony eventually said the number is closer to 10 million, and wouldn't confirm that the information stolen included credit card numbers.
As disaster mitigation goes, that's not a big improvement.