Sony will begin to restore services on its Playstation Network later this week following a cyber attack in April that caused Sony to shut down the online service. According to a press release on the official Playstation Blog web site, the company will also put in "significant security measures" to prevent any further cyber-attacks on the Playstation Network.
Sony admitted that a "criminal cyber-attack on the company’s data-center located in San Diego, California" occurred in April. That attack caused personal info on all of the Playstation Network's subscribers to be exposed. Credit card info might have also been lifted as well although Sony has claimed there is no evidence that this has actually occurred. Sony shut down the Playstation Network on April 20, leaving tens of millions of Playstation 3 owners without the ability to play online games, download demos and movies and more,
In today's press release, Sony said it will begin a gradual restoration of the Playstation Network's features this week including bringing back online gameplay for the Playstation 3 and PSP consoles, the Playstation Home virtual world, the network's chat and friends features and more. In addition, Playstation 3 owners will have to download and install a system update for the console when the network is restored. That update will require PS3 owners to change their password before logging onto the Playstation Network. Passwords will only be able to be changed on the PS3 that the account was activated on from now on or via a confirmed email. Sony has also offered to give Playstation Network users a "complimentary offering" to sign up for currently unnamed identity theft protection services.
Sony plans to move the Playstation Network's online servers to a new but undisclosed location. In fact Sony said the server move was planned well before April's cyber attacks. Sony also claims it will be putting in more online security measures including more firewalls, improvements in the network's encryption of data and personal info and more. Sony will also add a new job position to its ranks, Chief Information Security Officer, "to add a new position of expertise in and accountability for customer data protection and supplement existing information security personnel."
As for all of the Playstation 3 owners who have done without playing Call of Duty Black Ops online, along with players of all the other pS3 multiplayer games for over 10 days, Sony says that it will compensate them once the Playstation Network is restored with several offers including a free 30 day subscription to the Playstation Plus premium service, 30 free days on the Music Unlimited service and currently unnamed free "PlayStation entertainment content".
In addition to today's press release, Sony held a press conference in Japan where Sony's "Executive Deputy President" Kaz Hirai took on questions from the media. According to Joystiq's live blog of the press event Hirai claimed that an "application server" was the entry point where the still unidentified hackers broke into the Playstation Network servers. He also said that about 10 million PSN users have active credit card amounts. He repeated Sony's claim that there is no evidence that credit card info has been compromised but still advised users to check on their accounts just in case.