Sony CEO apologizes for PSN outage, part of the service to return this week

By on May 1, 2011
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‘Welcome Back’ pack detailed, to include free downloads, Playstation Plus subs.

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Sony CEO Kaz Hirai took center stage at the press-only event held in Japan today to clarify much of the doubts concerning the recent Playstation Network outage.

Hirai immediately apologized to users upon coming out on stage, and apparently, bowed in front of the press present at the event. The executive described what happened as a “highly sophisticated attack” against the popular service.

“This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry. These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber-security,” he said.

“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.

“Our global audience of PlayStation Network and Qriocity consumers was disrupted. We have learned lessons along the way about the valued relationship with our consumers, and to that end, we will be launching a customer appreciation program for registered consumers as a way of expressing our gratitude for their loyalty during this network downtime, as we work even harder to restore and regain their trust in us and our services.”

Sony then confirmed that out of the 78 million Playstation accounts, at least 10 million accounts had credit card information. It again said that there was no evidence if the credit card information was stolen, despite rumors that the entire database of those accounts were on sale in a ‘hacker’s underground’. However, it urged users to “stay vigilant”, and suggested to change passwords and keep eye on their credit card statements. Sony also released a breakdown of the number of accounts made per country, which can be found here.

The company also detailed the ‘Welcome Back’ pack, meant to be a goodwill gesture from the company to its users. The pack will include free region-specific selected content, free additional 30 days subscription for existing Qriocity subscribers, and a free 30 day trial for Playstation Plus service, with current users receiving additional 30 days as well.

Separately on the official Playstation blog, Sony confirmed that some parts of the Playstation service will back online some time this week. They include:

  • This includes titles requiring online verification and downloaded games
  • Restoration of Online game-play across the PlayStation®3 (PS3) and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) systems
  • 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

The service will be fully restored at some point this month, Sony said.

It also detailed some of the actions taken to further strengthen the Playstation Network, such as:

  • Added automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks
  • Enhanced levels of data protection and encryption
  • Enhanced ability to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns
  • Implementation of additional firewalls

About

Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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