Sony Grappling with 55 U.S. Lawsuits After PSN Hack
By Matt Peckham
PCWorldJul 22, 2011 7:29 am PDT
It looks like Sony may be going to court, and we’re not talking once, or thrice, but 55 times over. Yep, the company’s facing a whopping 55 lawsuits in the U.S. alone, reports Reuters, each one related to the massive PlayStation Network data breach that initiated a service blackout that lasted for nearly a month.
How do we know? Because one of Sony’s insurers, Zurich American, is trying to wriggle out of coughing up legal insurance for the lawsuits, that’s how. The insurance company has asked a court to rule it doesn’t have to pay to defend Sony from class action complaints stemming from the PSN intrusion and mass data theft that occurred in mid-April. The hack affected over 75 million PSN member accounts worldwide, and it’s been called the largest breach of confidential user information in history.
Zurich’s also suing other insurance providers, essentially to shed light on their responsibilities as co-insurers for Sony.
The crux of the debate: Does cyber-property damage amount to physical property damage or not. Sony’s already filed claims suggesting it does, while Zurich presumably believes it doesn’t.
It’s been all quiet on the PSN hacking front since Sony brought its gaming network back online (in part by mid-May, but not in full until the first week of June). Sony subsidiaries have been repeatedly hacked in subsequent weeks, but the PSN appears to have stabilized (though whether due to security bulwarks or hacker fatigue and/or boredom is anyone’s guess).