PSN hackers wanted, reward may lead to arrest

According to a "source close to Sony," the company is considering offering a reward to anyone who can provide details that lead to the arrest of the PlayStation Network hackers.

Arik Hesseldahl, from New Enterprise, claims that Sony “hasn’t reached a final decision concerning whether it will offer a reward, and may decide not to do it at all, but the option is on the table.”

Apprehending the perpetrators who brought down Sony’s online PS3 service on April 18 and then caused Sony Online Entertainment network services to be taken offline on May 2 is a high priority for Sony, but offering a reward would suggest that it’s no closer to tracking down the culprits, or that it needs stronger evidence from those in the know. A cash reward may well cause people close to the hackers to come forward.

Hesseldahl claims that a reward could be set up in conjunction with the FBI, but would first need to be given the go ahead from Sony executives at the company’s Tokyo headquarters.

“If Sony does decide to offer a reward, it will do so in cooperation with law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the relevant law enforcement agencies in other countries,” writes Hesseldahl.

“The discussions around the pros and cons of offering a reward are not complete and would require the sign-off of senior Sony executives in Tokyo, who have not given their go-ahead, these people say. The reward is being considered as one of many options Sony is mulling in consultation with law enforcement to try to jar loose any information on the identity of the attackers.”

Hacking collective “Anonymous” are expected to be behind the security breach after a file bearing their name appeared on an SOE server. The group has since come forward to deny the allegation. Meanwhile, the PlayStation Network and Sony’s online services are still down while the company continues to tighten security and search for the hackers.