Sony yesterday began a phased region-by-region restoration of its PlayStation Network and Qriocity Services, with the country-by-country rollout beginning in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. The company expects to have the services fully restored by the end of May 2011.
The first phase of restored services for these countries and regions includes sign-in for PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords, and the restoration of online gameplay across PS3 and PSP. Additional functionality will also be added during each phase, including playback of rental video content (if within the rental period); Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity, for current subscribers, on PS3 and PC; access to third-party services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and MLB.tv; the various Friends functions on PS3, such as Friends List, Chat Functionality and Trophy Comparison; and the PlayStation Home service.
“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,” said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. “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.”
As the result of a criminal cyber attack on the company’s data-center located in San Diego, California, U.S.A., SNEI shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services on April 20, in order for the company to undergo an investigation and make enhancements to the overall security of the network infrastructure. Working closely with several respected outside security firms, the company has implemented new and additional security measures that strengthen safeguards against unauthorized activity, and provide consumers with greater protection of their personal information.
The company has made considerable enhancements to the data security, including updating and adding advanced security technologies, additional software monitoring and penetration and vulnerability testing, and increased levels of encryption and additional firewalls. The company also added a variety of other measures to the network infrastructure including an early-warning system for unusual activity patterns that could signal an attempt to compromise the network.
As an additional measure, Fumiaki Sakai, president of Sony Global Solutions Inc. (SGS), has been appointed acting Chief Information Security Officer of SNEI. In addition to his current role at SGS, Mr. Sakai, in his role at SNEI, will work to further reinforce overall information security across the company’s network infrastructure. Mr. Sakai will lead the recruiting effort in finding a new and permanent CISO for SNEI. As CISO, Mr. Sakai will report to Tim Schaaff, president, SNEI, as well as to Mr. Shinji Hasejima, CIO, Sony Corporation.
“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,” Hirai continued. “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.”
The restoration of the services across the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Middle East are beginning, and consumers will be able to enjoy some of the online functionality provided by both the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. Phased restoration in Japan and other Asian countries and regions will be announced in due course. The company expects to have the services fully restored by the end of May 2011.
The company will be offering customers a “Welcome Back” package of services and premium content to all registered PlayStation Network and Qriocity account services. The details of this program will be announced in each region shortly.