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Shut the CANUCK up! Sony offers $1m to hacked gamers

Not our fault, but here's free stuff anyway, Canada

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Canadian gamers affected by the hacking of Sony's Playstation Network have been offered compensation worth $1m by the entertainment giant.

An email titled “PSN-SOE-Canada Settlement” went out this week to gamers in Canada offering small sops to anyone affected by the outage in 2011.

Any Canadian who started an account on the Playstation Network before May 15, 2011, is eligible to compo under the class-action settlement, which is still awaiting “final approval” from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

A hearing is expected this June after a $1.04bn case was brought against Sony by Canadian Natasha Maksimovic in 2011, who at the time was a 21-year-old gamer.

Sony maintains that this latest offer is not an admission of guilt.

The letter said: “The Sony Entities [involved] deny any claims of wrongdoing in this case, and the settlement does not mean that the Sony Entities violated any laws or did anything wrong.”

Gamers were locked out of Sony’s Playstation Network between April 20 and May 15 2011 following a hack widely attributed to Anonymous, who denied responsibilty. In the runup to the attack some hackers had become angry with Sony, after the company removed support for Linux on the PS3 and tried to sue George Hotz, who managed to jailbreak the console.

Sony suffered a massive broadside of denial-of-service attacks on its networks - and hackers managed to gain access to Sony’s database of user data, harvesting personal information and credit card numbers from some 77 million accounts. It reportedly cost Sony $171 million to fix the problems and the incident was hailed as one of biggest identify thefts of all time.

Now any Canadian who had more than $2 in virtual currency in their account at the time of the hack will be refunded, while anyone who was unable to access “certain media services” during the outage will be able to buy three Playstation games with a 50 per cent discount - Sony has set aside a $100,000 war chest for the compensation arbitrary gift.

Sony (2012 global revenue: $79bn) has also set aside $1m to pay for free games which will be doled out to anyone who participated in the “Welcome Back” scheme Sony started after services were restored.

Anyone who didn't participate in the Welcome Back scheme can now get two benefits from a list: including a free game, a three-month half-price membership of PlayStation Plus or three free PS3 themes.

British gamers were offered two free games as an apology for the incident. This wasn't enough punishment for the Office of the Information Commissioner, who slapped Sony with a record £250,000 fine in January of this year. ®

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