Embattled consumer electronics giant Sony said on Tuesday its PlayStation Network, that was hacked last month, will remain offline for at least few more days till it figures out a way to make it secure.
Sony's brand name took a big hit ever since April 19, when the company shut down the PlayStation Network after noticing unauthorized activity on the servers.
Sony maintained silence on the issue for nearly a week before finally announcing that hackers had access to personal information of more than 100 million PlayStation users, including credit card information. The PlayStation Network system was launched in 2006 allowing PS3 console gamers to compete online, stream movies and access other services via the Internet.
Sony also said its Qriocity music streaming service was affected by the hack, compromising the personal information of several million users.
On May 2, the company further announced that its Sony Online Entertainment unit had been hacked and credit card information had been been stolen from its servers.
Sony had set May 8 as the service restoration date.
However, on Tuesday, Sony spokesman Patrick Seybold posted on the PlayStation blog that the network service will be down for quite some time. I know you all want to know exactly when the services will be restored. At this time, I can't give you an exact date, as it will likely be at least a few more days, Seybold wrote.
We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work through this process,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Sony's Tokyo-based spokesman Shigenori Yoshida told Bloomberg the company is still uncertain when it will restart the PlayStation network services though its original plan of restarting the services fully by May 31 remains the same.
The announcement has triggered panic among PlayStation fans as it seems Sony is still struggling to find out the culprits and make sure that the system is secure before it relaunches the network.
The issue has also drawn attention of the U.S. Congress as the security breach could make it one of the biggest Internet heists in history.
Sony has also tried to control the damage done by providing identity theft insurance of $1 million to US PlayStation users affected by the breach and a welcome back package to users in other countries.
Sony CEO Howard Stringer also apologized last week to the millions of users of the company's hacked online networks.
However, 3 questions beg to be answered:
1. Why the security issue was not high on the list when the network was launched the first time?
2. How can someone tread on the welcome back carpet since the network's still down?
3. If Sony has missed the previous deadline, how can we be sure that it won't miss the May 31 deadline too?