PlayStation Network: It's baaa-aaack (nearly!)

Proving that sleep and weekends are for the weak, Sony Corporation has today announced that Sony Network Entertainment International has started its phased restoration of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.

PlayStation Network

Slowly makin' its way back

The roll-out will be on a country by country basis, kicking off in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, moving through a series of steps.

Phase 1 will include:

  • Sign-in for PlayStation®Network and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords
  • Restoration of online game-play across PS3 and PSP
  • Playback rental video content, if within rental period, of PlayStation Network Video Delivery Service on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
  • Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity, for current subscribers, on PS3 and PC
  • Access to 3rd party services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and[i]
  • ‘Friends’ category on PS3, including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison, etc
  • PlayStation Home

The company is also promising – appropriately enough – a collection of increased security measures. The PlayStation Network and Qriocity services were taken down due to a criminal “cyber attack” which hit a Californian data centre. The move was a safety measure, designed for the company to hold a thorough investigation into the incident, and figure out how to improve the system so that this wouldn’t happen again.

A bunch of “respected” external security firms all shared their expertise, and Sony is now implementing new and additional security measures designed to strengthen safeguards against unauthorised activity, all while providing consumers with greater protection for their personal information.

So – what’s new? Sony reassure us it’s updating – and adding – advanced security technologies, penetration and vulnerability testing, additional software monitoring, additional firewalls and increased levels of encryption.

An early-warning system has also been added, designed to keep a virtual eye out for any unusual activity patterns which may be associated with an atempt to compromise the network.

Kazuo Hirai

Kazuo Hirai

Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President of Sony Corporation has also made a statement:

“I’d like to send my sincere regret for the inconvenience this incident has caused you, and want to thank you all for the kind patience you’ve shown as we worked through the restoration process.

“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, company wide commitment.”

Francis deSouza, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Security Group, Symantec observes that there has been a “dramatic” rise in the number of cyber-attacks over the past year and a half, the trend becoming more and more sophisticated.

“Thwarting cyber-crime requires an evolutionary approach to security that is well integrated, reduces risk exposure and improves efficiencies.

“Today’s cyber crime attacks are proving to be more covert, more targeted and better organized than those we’ve seen in years past. In working with Sony on the move of their data-center, it’s clear they’re implementing measures to reduce security risks moving forward.”

As we mentioned previously, a new position – Chief Information Security Officer at SNEI has been created. It’s currently filled by Fumiaki Sakai, the president of Sony Global Solutions Inc – who is leading the effort to find a new and permanent CISO for the company. The new role will “further reinforce” the overall level of information security across Sony‘s network infrastructure.

Hirai continues:

“While we understand the importance of getting our services back online, we did not rush to do so at the expense of extensively and aggressively testing our enhanced security measures. Our consumers’ safety remains our number one priority.

“We want to assure our customers that their personal information is being protected with some of the best security technologies available today, so that everyone can feel comfortable enjoying all that PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have to offer.”


...back too!

…so what does it all mean? If you’re living in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand or the Middle East, you should be able to start logging in to PlayStation Network and Qriocity very soon – if not straight away.

If you live in Japan or other Asian countries, your restoration is coming “in due course”, with all regions and services expected to be fully restored by the end of May 2011.

Stay tuned, a “Welcome Back” package will be detailed shortly, offering services and premium content to all registered PSN and Qriocity account holders.

Would you like to know more? Take your pick of the official blogs – [surl=]American[/surl] or [surl=]European[/surl]. Hopefully this is the last we hear of this incident for a while… *crosses fingers*

This story was featured in Episode 15, Season 2 of playerattack News:

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