Sony has finally confirmed that the outages that affected its PlayStation Network and a Qriocity services were caused by what the company calls external intrusions.       

Sony Corporate Communications Director Patrick Seybold made the confirmation on Friday shortly before a second announcement that Sony is suspending access to its PlayStation Network Service. The move, Seybold said, comes as Sony rebuilds its system in an effort to prevent future similar attacks.

Though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security, he said on Saturday.

Seybold's announcement confirms initial suspicions that an outside attack was to blame for the PlayStation Network's downtime.

In a message on the PlayStation Blog on Thursday, PSN manager James Gallagher said Sony isn't ruling out outside attack as a potential cause for the outage. Our support teams are investigating the cause of the problem, including the possibility of targeted behavior by an outside party, Gallagher said.

Less clear, however, is the identity of the force behind the attack. Most speculation points to the hacker group Anonymous, which has made attacking Sony one of its main priorities in recent months. Anonymous, however, is denying reports that it was to blame for the outages, arguing instead that Sony's troubles were due to its own incompetence. While the organization as denied any official involvement, it is unable to rule out that some if its members are working independently.

There is no word yet on when the PlayStation Network service will be restored.