After more than a week of downtime, the result of a malicious hacker attack, Sony held a press conference in Japan to update an anxious public with the latest information and steps being taken to restore service to PlayStation Network. Perhaps more importantly, there's still no evidence credit card details were taken.
Sony says the trouble started following a "criminal cyber-attack" on a facility in San Diego. When the intrusion was discovered, PSN was brought down and security firms brought in to investigate. That investigation took several days, which Sony says explains why their criticized first response also took that long.
There are now additional securty measures now in place, including moving Sony's data center to a new location, adding multiple layers of security internally, hiring a chief information security officer and forcing password changes to occur via the primary PlayStation 3 or a verified email address.
“This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry," said exec. deputy president of the Sony Corporation Kaz Hirai in a statement. "These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber-security. We take the security of our consumers’ information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data. In addition, the organization has worked around the clock to bring these services back online, and are doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks."
Starting this week, some PSN services will come back online. The company has prioritized certain services over others, obviously, and the rollout will happen region-by-region. The list is as follows:
- == TEASER ==Restoration of online game-play across the PlayStation 3 and PSP systems (this includes titles requiring online verification and downloaded games)
- Access to Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3/PSP for existing subscribers
- Access to account management and password reset
- Access to download un-expired Movie Rentals on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
- PlayStation Home
- Friends List
- Chat Functionality
Before you can access any of those, there will be a firmware update requiring a PSN password change. Throughout the PSN blackout, users were unable to reset their password or even request to know what their password was. Without that information, it was difficult to determine what risk users were at. Many Internet users had changed all of their password after a recent Gawker hacking, including yours truly.
Sony has also been promising compensation to their customers, the first details of which are now available. We now know it will be part of a larger "Welcome Back" campaign that will see the entire PSN userbase gaining access to PlayStation Plus for 30 days. Existing members, however, will simply receive an additional free month of access. Additional content will be offered for free, but as those will be region-specific, details are not yet available. Cue the bitching over whatever free games are offered!
Existing Qriocity users will also receive an additional 30 days of service. But, uh, who uses Qriocity?
We should know more about when each service element is coming back online soon.