Figures supplied by Sony suggest that the cost of the recent hack attack on the company's PSN service will end up costing it a over £100 million (14 billion Yen).
In a statement to investors released today, the company said, "Based on information currently available to Sony, our currently known costs associated with the unauthorised network access are estimated to be approximately 14 billion yen in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012."
The company also said that the effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami had cost it £129 million (17 billion Yen) which puts the scale of the unauthorised access and its impact on the company into perspective.
Sony's response to the unauthorised invasion of its servers, which lead to the theft of 100 million users' personal data and credit card details, has been blasted by the media and its own users as a litany of corporate cover-ups, incompetence and arrogant indifference.
Due to a series of schoolboy errors and continuing worries over security, the PSN and Qriocity services are still either incomplete or non-existent in many territories, and every day the servers are down costs the company - and its trading partners - more cash.
Despite all of its woes, including a 360 million Yen charge offset against 'deferred tax assets in Japan', Sony says its shareholders can breathe easy. "Sales are expected to increase year-on-year, operating income is expected to be flat year-on-year, and net income attributable to Sony Corporation’s stockholders is expected to be positive," the financial statement said.
Although no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack on Sony, the theft of the personal details occurred at a time when hacktivist hive-mind Anonymous was subjecting the company to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) because of its legal case against hacker George 'GeoHot' Hotz.
Hotz irked Sony by distributing the PlayStation 3's secret checking keys which prevented piracy on the otherwise impenetrable games console. The hacker claims he has no interest in allowing users to pirate commercial games but simply wants to be able to install Linux on his PS3 using the 'Install Other OS' function which was withdrawn by Sony after it became vulnerable to hackers.
In retrospect, letting a few dozen hard-hacking geeks footle around with the PS3's innards might have been substantially cheaper option than the cash lost so far, and the irreparable damage done to the company's global reputation by the current kerfuffle.
More details on Sony's financial status can be found here.