June 25, 2024

Sony Says Parts of PlayStation Network Will Be Back Online This Week

TOKYO — Sony said Sunday that parts of its PlayStation Network would be back online this week after hackers infiltrated the service, made off with detailed personal information about users and forced a catastrophic system shutdown.

But a full rebooting of the network, which links 77 million game players worldwide, could take until the end of the month, the Japanese electronics and entertainment company announced at a news conference in Tokyo.

“I am deeply sorry for worrying, and inconveniencing, our users,” Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s executive deputy president, said, bowing deeply.

The security debacle has dealt a serious blow to Sony’s bid to build an online network that brings games and music content to its universe of gadgets. Sony has trailed in building an online presence behind companies like Apple and its popular services, iTunes and the App Store.

Sony has also faced questions about whether it moved quickly enough to inform its users of the breach. The PlayStation Network went down April 20, but Sony did not disclose that personal data had been stolen until a full week later.

A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives has sent a letter to Sony asking for information about the attack. Among its questions are when the intrusion occurred, whether Sony knew who was responsible and when the company had notified law enforcement agencies.

According to Sony, an “unauthorized person” hacked into Sony servers last month and obtained personal information on PlayStation and Qriocity account holders, including their names, addresses, e-mail addresses and user names and passwords for the PlayStation Network.

The company said that other information, including credit card numbers, might have been involved, warning customers to “remain vigilant” by monitoring for identity theft or financial losses.

The hacker attack focused on Sony severs on three days in mid-April, Mr. Hirai said. The company first became aware of the intrusion April 19 and shut down its servers the following day.

Sony said that user names and passwords to the network had not been encrypted but that the credit card information it had for about 10 million users had been and that there was yet no evidence that those data had been taken.

The company is working with the F.B.I. in the United States and with law enforcement agencies in other countries in investigating the attack, it said.

Mr. Hirai acknowledged that Sony had been slow in providing information on the network breach to its users. It took the company time to gather accurate data on the breach, he said.

“Inspecting and analyzing a vast amount of data unfortunately took a lot of time,” he said. “We wanted to make sure that the information we provided was accurate as possible.”

Mr. Hirai said that online networks would remain central to Sony’s business. The new Qriocity service, which streams audio and video content to Sony’s high-end televisions, Blu-ray players and other Web-enabled devices, was also knocked offline in the attack.

Once the network is up and running, users will have to change their passwords before they can connect. Sony will offer free content and other giveaways as part of an “appreciation program,” the company said.

Many features will be back up this week, but the PlayStation Store, where users buy games, movies and other downloadable content, will not be available until later this month, Sony said.

“Sony continues to place utmost priority on its network strategy,” Mr. Hirai said. “We intend to continue our global expansion.”

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/02/technology/02sony.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Speak Your Mind