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By otakuman5000 On 1 May, 2011 At 03:19 PM | Categorized As News, PlayStation | With 0 Comments

No GravatarAs we reported moments earlier, Kaz Hirai and other top Sony executives held a press conference to announce the return of PlayStation Network and the plans of providing PS3 owners rewards for their Loyalty. We have the official word from Sony in the form of a press release.

 

SOME PLAYSTATION NETWORK AND QRIOCITY SERVICES TO BE AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Phased Global Rollout of Services to Begin Regionally; System Security Enhanced to Provide Greater Protection of Personal Information.

Tokyo, May 1, 2011 – Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI, the company) announced they will shortly begin a phased restoration by region of PlayStation®Network and Qriocity™ services, beginning with gaming, music and video services to be turned on. The company also announced both a series of immediate steps to enhance security across the network and a new customer appreciation program to thank its customers for their patience and loyalty.

Following a criminal cyber-attack on the company’s data-center located in San Diego, California, U.S.A., SNEI quickly turned off the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, engaged multiple expert information security firms over the course of several days and conducted an extensive audit of the system. Since then, the company has implemented a variety of new security measures to provide greater protection of personal information. SNEI and its third-party experts have conducted extensive tests to verify the security strength of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. With these measures in place, SCE and SNEI plan to start a phased rollout by region of the services shortly. The initial phase of the rollout will include, but is not limited to, the following:

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

Working closely with several outside security firms, the company has implemented significant security measures to further detect unauthorized activity and provide consumers with greater protection of their personal information. The company is also creating the position of Chief Information Security Officer, directly reporting to Shinji Hasejima, Chief Information Officer of Sony Corporation, to add a new position of expertise in and accountability for customer data protection and supplement existing information security personnel. The new security measures implemented include, but are not limited to, the following:

• 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

The company also expedited an already planned move of the system to a new data center in a different location that has been under construction and development for several months. In addition, PS3 will have a forced system software update that will require all registered PlayStation Network users to change their account passwords before being able to sign into the service. As an added layer of security, that password can only be changed on the same PS3 in which that account was activated, or through validated email confirmation, a critical step to help further protect customer data.

The company is conducting a thorough and on-going investigation and working with law enforcement to track down and prosecute those responsible for the illegal intrusion.

“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. 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,” said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. “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.”

Complimentary Offering and “Welcome Back” Appreciation Program

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 will provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs. The implementation will be at a local level and further details will be made available shortly in each region.

The company will also rollout the PlayStation Network and Qriocity “Welcome Back” program, to be offered worldwide, which will be tailored to specific markets to provide our consumers with a selection of service options and premium content as an expression of the company’s appreciation for their patience, support and continued loyalty.

• Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon.
• All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.
• Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers (in countries where the service is available) will receive 30 days free service.

Additional “Welcome Back” entertainment and service offerings will be rolled out over the coming weeks as the company returns the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services to the quality standard users have grown to enjoy and strive to exceed those exceptions.

SNEI will continue to reinforce and verify security for transactions before resuming the PlayStation®Store and other Qriocity operations, scheduled for this month.

For more information about the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services intrusion and restoration, please visit http://blog.us.playstation.com or http://blog.eu.playstation.com/

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $78 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/

About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Recognized as the global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufactures, distributes and markets the PlayStation® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and the PlayStation®3 (PS3®) system. PlayStation has revolutionized home entertainment by introducing advanced 3D graphic processing, and PlayStation 2 further enhances the PlayStation legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP is a handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio. PS3 is an advanced computer system, incorporating the state-of-the-art Cell processor with super computer like power. SCEI, along with its subsidiary divisions Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea Inc. develops, publishes, markets and distributes software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these platforms in the respective markets worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, SCEI is an independent business unit of the Sony Group.

We will provide more Information on this topics as the information comes in from Sony.

By Bladez L. Stryker On 1 May, 2011 At 02:38 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, PlayStation | With 2 Comments

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Today, May 1, 2011, at 2:00PM JST, Sony executives held a press conference concerning the recent breach and subsequent shut down of Playstation Network and Qriocity. Speaking on Sony’s behalf were Kazuo Hirai (Executive Deputy President, Sony Corp.), Shinji Hasejima (Chief Information Officer, Sony Corp.), and Shiro Kambe (Corporate Communications and CSR, Sony Corp.). They began by bowing and extending their sincerest apologies to all affected by the incident.

Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation

The first point covered was the compromise of personal data. The method used in gaining access to the database was said to be “a very sophisticated and advanced way of compromising our system”. As most may already know from prior updates, this included names, billing addresses, PlayStation Network ID’s, Qriocity sign-in ID’s, passwords, and security question answers. There was no evidence of access to credit card information and that it was encrypted and stored at another location. It was also stated that 3-4 digit security codes were not obtained. Of the 77 million accounts that were compromised, 10 million of them had credit cards stored on file.

The database that incurred the illegal intrusion was located in San Diego, California. In addition to expediting the pre-planned move, more security measures are underway. A new automated software monitoring system, increasing the capability to detect unauthorized intrusions and suspicious or unusual activity. On top of this, an enhanced firewall will also be added. There will be a new position created for a Chief Information Security Officer of SNEI to further insure protection of personal data.

Sony further stated that PlayStation Network services are key to its strategies and they will continue to strengthen their network and learn from this recent incident. Restoration of services are planned to begin this week with limited access. Confirming safety and security of the system is underway users regain access to the PlayStation Network, they will be required to update to a new firmware version and submit a new password. It was stated “this can only be done on the PlayStation 3 system on which the ID was created or activated, or through a validated e-mail address”. This was not further clarified, but more information should be available regarding the process before services are restored.One can only assume if you are unable to submit a new password via your PlayStation 3 that the validated e-mail address would be the one that is connected to your PlayStation Network ID.

Very little was said regarding the legal ramifications of this situation, but that is pretty much the standard in any on-going investigation. It was confirmed that FBI has been contacted in this matter because the database was located in the United States. Authorities in other countries have contacted Sony, and it is said they will be handled on a case by case basis. Also mentioned were the DdoS attacks which occurred in early April. The group that claimed responsibility goes by the name Anonymous. Additionally, personal information of Sony executives was dug up and posted on the web. Hirai stated “we will be sharing more information on the investigation when we have such information to share”.

Another large concern of consumers is how will they be compensated for loss of services. There are many arguments about the need for compensation for a service that is free, yet there are also users that do pay for additional services.

In response, Sony is instituting a “Welcome Back” package. This package will be based on the region in which you are located. This will include some free downloaded content, a 30 day free subscription to PlayStation Plus services for all users, and 30 days free Qriocity use for subscribers. If users are already PlayStation Plus subscribers then their membership will be extended by 30 days. In addition, Sony will also cover any costs for credit card replacements and identity theft protection services in affected countries. Nothing was mentioned about the 2 Sony Online Entertainment games DC Universe Online and Free Realms, both which require paid subscriptions and are on-line only games.

Sony also stated that they will be devoted to re-establishing its trust from consumers by continued increased security and better communication with their customers.

This incident has been big news of late, and the major concern of people seems to be the access of their personal information. Sony is not the first company this has happened to and it may not be the last. Other companies have had intrusions where information has been obtained. These days it just doesn’t take a hacker to gain information on you. Anyone of us that uses the internet is leaving some form of digital foot print. Simply put your name in one of the many internet search engines and some of you will be very surprised at just how much one can find through typing a name and the click of a button.