Sony began restoration of its beleaguered PlayStation Network on Sunday, much to the delight of its nearly 80 million global customers that have waited nearly 4 weeks for the service to be restored.
The company started bringing back its gaming network Sunday, on a country-by-country basis, and expects it to be completed in all regions by May 31.
I can't thank you enough for your patience and support during this time, Sony No. 2 Kazuo Hirai said in the news release, acknowledging that customers were anxious to use their products again.
We are taking aggressive action at all levels to address the concerns that were raised by this incident, and are making consumer data protection a full-time, company wide commitment.
The company went on to say that it is migrating files to new servers that facilitate early detection of cyber-attacks and secure data management.
For those of you committed to safety, but waited for some time now, humbly we thank you for understanding, the note read.
For weeks Sony has been in the crosshairs on digital vigilantes, forcing the company to shut down several services and issue public apologies and reparations to customers affected.
In April Sony was forced to take down the massive Playstation gaming network after attackers infiltrated and acquired personal data on nearly 80 million customers -- one of the largest security breaches in history.
Then, on May 9, Sony learned SOE, which runs games such as DC Universe Online, had also been attacked, affecting an additional 24 million accounts.
The origins spur from a lawsuit brought against a hardware hacker George Hotz, who for months have been posting exploits of the Playstation 3 system onto his personal website. In perusing Hotz and those who gained access to his information, Sony teamed with Internet Service Providers, Paypal and even YouTube to gain access to the IP addresses of users who viewed the content.
That move became a rallying cry for hackers to organize and take aim at the Japanese giant, decrying what it saw to be gross violations of digital privacy.
One group, calling it self Anonymous, said that the move was just the beginning and that it would not forgive the company for its privacy invasion.
Where the judicial system has failed, Anonymous will persevere, by standing up for the rights of everyone, not just those who dared to challenge these corporations, the group said on April 14, calling its members to action.
It went on to launch several denial of service attacks to Sony properties, flooding its servers with requests in attempts to overload them, before moving on to what it says would be other ways of getting Sony's attention.
It has roundly denied the more serious data-breaches that involved the loss of personal data and nearly 10 million credit cards, but Sony is saying its investigations point the finger squarely at the group.
When Sony Online Entertainment discovered this past Sunday afternoon that data from its servers had been stolen, it also discovered that the intruders had planted a file on one of those servers named 'Anonymous' with the words 'We are Legion,' Sony wrote in a letter to Congress.
The group insists it was the result of someone seeking to frame them, but new reports suggest that while the attack may not have been centrally planned, other members of the group may have acted on their own whim, infiltrating and stealing the data.