Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Updates on the PlayStation Network

It’s been twenty days now since PlayStation has been down, and according to a report from Bloomberg, Sony’s PlayStation Network, as well as their Qriocity online service, could be down for a little while longer. Users will be without these services until at least May 31, but it could be even longer.

In an interview that was conducted by Bloomberg, Sony spokesperson Shigenori Yoshida said that the company is currently working to install an improved security system and will have its services fully operational by May 31.

The Sony PlayStation Network has been down since April 20, and Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) went down on May 2. Sony hosted a press conference in Tokyo on April 30. There the company said that it planned to have everything running again within a week, but with the outages of its SOE services as well, they simply need more time.

"We won't restore the services until we can test the system's strength" when it comes to security of the network and the safety of users' data, Sony said in a blog post on Friday. "We were unaware of the extent of the attack on Sony Online Entertainment servers, and we are taking this opportunity to conduct further testing of the incredibly complex system."

The company also stated on Friday that they had found and removed a website that had posted more than 2,500 names and partial addresses of participants in one of their 2001 product sweepstakes. According to Sony, "the website was out-of-date and inactive when discovered as part of the continued attacks on Sony.” However, the only information listed on the website was names and bits and pieces of addresses. Sony says, “No one’s credit card, social security number, password or other personal information beyond name, partial mailing address and three unconfirmed e-mail addresses were on the list.

Last week, the chairman and chief executive at Sony Howard Stringer offered an apology to all users that were affected by the massive hack. "As a company we — and I — apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack," Stringer wrote in a blog post on Thursday night. "Under the leadership of Kazuo Hirai, we have teams working around the clock and around the world to restore your access to those services as quickly, and as safely, as possible."

He also offered all individuals involved a year of free credit monitoring and an ID theft policy. This is a precautionary measure, because it is possible that whoever hacked the network could have obtained credit card information from PlayStation Network users.

Analysts are saying that the hack that Sony has suffered could cost the company up to a $1 billion in damages.

Sony said in a letter that the company sent to Congress last week that they did not know who the hackers were yet; however, the letter went on to say that Sony had found some sort of evidence from the SOE server that the Web group Anonymous was involved in the hack. The group denies the accusations.

Who knows how long it will be before the PlayStation Network is back up. It definitely sounds like it won't be within the next week or so. I'm sure that Sony is doing everything that they can to get things up and running again, so hopefully gamers won't have to wait too much longer.

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