Though Japan had initially bristled at having the troubled and user-compromising PlayStation Network go live again in Japan, Sony announced today that the PSN is back in its homeland, as well as the rest of Asia.
(graphic courtesy of Engadget- it was just too pretty / topical to not use)
After having lost an estimated $171 million in revenue from what will surely be known as the PSNightmare of 2011, this is at least somewhat good news. Tomorrow, the service will be up and running again in most of Asia, even Reluctant Japan- but users in South Korea and Hong Kong will have to hold their horses until the end of the month before they can expect the online service to return.
Either way, I'm sure sighs of relief are being heard all around Sony's offices as, hopefully, we come to the close of this ordeal. Press release after the break.
Hong Kong, May 27, 2011 - Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announced that Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI, the company) will begin a phased restoration of PlayStation®Network and QriocityTM Services*2 in Japan and Asian countries and regions including Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand *1 on May 28. A new identity protection program*3 will also be offered in conjunction with the phased restoration for PlayStation®Network and Qriocity™ customers in Japan.
Increased Security Measures
Working closely with 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, a Chief Information Security Officer was created at SNEI who will work to reinforce overall information security across the company's network infrastructure.
"I'd also like to send my sincere regret to customers in Japan and Asian countries and regions for the inconvenience these events have caused you," said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. "We are taking aggressive action including increasing security measures and working with respective authorities to address the concerns that were raised by this incident. We are making consumer data protection a full-time, company wide commitment so that our customers can rest assured about enjoying their entertainment."
The first phase of restored services*4 for Japan and Asian countries and regions will include:
Sign-in for PlayStation®Network and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords
Restoration of online game-play across PlayStation®3 (PS3®) and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable)
'Friends' category on PS3, including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison, etc
Access to other network features on services such as torne™ *5
(Customers will not be able to download movies rented through PlayStation®Network video download service because movies have expired as a result of PlayStation®Network service being turned off since April 21 (JST).) * *5
Identify Protection Measures
While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, the company is committed to helping its customers protect their personal data and is continuing to work with several security firms to determine the extent of customer data which may have illegally been taken following the criminal cyber attack on PlayStation®Network and Qriocity™ services in April. Also credit card companies have not reported any increase in the number of fraudulent credit card transactions as a result of the attack, nor have they reported any fraudulent transactions that they believe are a direct result of the illegal attack.
In light of this circumstance, following identity protection measures will be offered to customers in Japan*6.
In addition to the existing customer service call center, SCE has established a phone hotline to offer customer guidance on the restoration of services, or measures to protect themselves against identity theft and fraud. (operating hours: 9am to 7pm*7)
With the support from credit card companies, SCE will bear the expenses to reissue new credit cards to those customers who request to replace their existing credit cards when it involves charges.
The company will be offering a "Welcome Back" package of services and premium content to all registered customers. The details of this program will be announced in each region shortly. For details on Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, please visit: http://asia.playstation.com/hk/en/news/latestNewsDetail/227400
Service restoration of PlayStation®Network has not been launched in Korea and Hong Kong, yet. The schedule for it will be announced as soon as ready.
Qriocity™ services is not available in Asia
Identity theft protection program is not applicable in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
PlayStation®Store is not available in the first phase of service restoration.
torne™ and PlayStation®Netowrk video download services are available only in Japan
This service is available only in Japan. Measures are subject to change depending on the finding from the investigation.
The new hotline is applicable in Japan only.