After nearly a month of being offline because of a hacker attack, Sony has restored the PlayStation Network.
In a video announcement, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said the comapny has begun a phased restoration of most of Sony's online game play across the PS3 and PSP and music services in most regions. Most games, game forums and websites from the PSN are back up, as is Qriocity.
Also access to third party services such as Netflix are back up as well. Sony said the company is turning the services back on, region by region. It will start in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East; East Asia will come at a later time.
I can't thank you enough for your patience and support during this time. We know even the most loyal customers have been frustrated by this process and are anxious to use their Sony products and services 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, companywide commitment, Hirai said.
In addition, Sony has prepared itself well in case of another hack. The network, which fell victim to an unauthorized infiltration to its databases in early April, requires Qriocity and PS3 users to reset their passwords immediately upon signing in. Furthermore, passwords can only changed on the PS3 in which the account was activated or through validated email.
Sony said it has made considerable enhancements to data security, including updating and adding advanced security technologies, putting in additional software monitoring and penetration and vulnerability testing and increased levels of encryption, additional firewalls and an early warning detection system.
Hirai said the company has made protecting its user data, priority number one. The hack put nearly 80 million consumers at risk; and Sony said the perpetrator accessed at least 25 million users' account information.
I wish we could have installed the new network sooner, but these attacks are serious and sophisticated and it simply took time to test our new security measures across the entire system, Hirai said.
Sony has already introduced a Welcome Back package which includes free in-game downloads, 30 days of free access to PlayStation Plus, 30 days of free access to Qriocity's Music Unlimited, as well as free identity theft monitoring from Debix. It will also offer $1 million in insurance for users who have been victimized by identity theft.