15th May 2011 - It's here! The Playstation Network is returning! On the Playstation.Blog this morning there was an announcement of a PS3 update (v3.61). The announcement was as follows:
"We have been working on a new PS3 system software update that requires all PSN users to change their password once PlayStation Network is restored. The update (v3.61) is mandatory and is available now.
If using a PS3, your password can only be changed on your own PS3 (or a PS3 on which your PSN account was activated), as an added layer of security. If you have never downloaded any content using your account on the system, an email will be sent to the registered sign-in ID (email address) associated with your account when you first attempt to sign-in to PSN. This e-mail will contain a link that will enable you to change your password. In this email, click on the link and follow the instructions to change your password. Once you have changed your password you can sign-in to your account using your new password.
We strongly recommend that all PSN account holders with PS3s update their systems to prepare for when PlayStation Network is back online. The release of this update is a critical step as we work to make PlayStation Network significantly more secure. Thank you for your continued support and patience."
And Kazuo Hirai has just made a video announcement that the PlayStation Network Restoration has begun around the world! Watch the announcement below!
And an official press release from Sony about the above is as follows:
"Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announced that Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI, the company) will today begin a phased restoration by region of PlayStation Network and Qriocity Services. The phased restoration will be on a country by country basis beginning in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Middle East.
The first phase of restored services for these countries and regions will include:
- Sign-in for PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords
- Restoration of online game-play across PS3 and PSP
- Playback rental video content, if within rental period, of PlayStation Network Video Delivery Service on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
- Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity, for current subscribers, on PS3 and PC
- Access to 3rd party services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and MLB.tv
- ‘Friends’ category on PS3, including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison, etc
- PlayStation Home
Increased Security Measures
As the result of a criminal cyber attack on the company’s data-center located in San Diego, California, U.S.A., SNEI shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services on April 20, in order for the company to undergo an investigation and make enhancements to the overall security of the network infrastructure. Working closely with several 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.
“I’d like to send my sincere regret for the inconvenience this incident has caused you, and want to thank you all for the kind patience you’ve shown as we worked through the restoration process,” said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. “I can't thank you enough for your patience and support during this time. We know even the most loyal customers have been frustrated by this process and are anxious to use their Sony products and services again. We are taking aggressive action at all levels to address the concerns that were raised by this incident, and are making consumer data protection a full-time, company wide commitment.”
“During the past 18 months, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in the volume of cyber attacks, their sophistication and their impact on businesses. Thwarting cyber-crime requires an evolutionary approach to security that is well integrated, reduces risk exposure and improves efficiencies,” said Francis deSouza, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Security Group, Symantec. “Today’s cyber crime attacks are proving to be more covert, more targeted and better organized than those we’ve seen in years past. In working with Sony on the move of their data-center, it’s clear they’re implementing measures to reduce security risks moving forward."
As an additional measure, Fumiaki Sakai, president of Sony Global Solutions Inc. (SGS), has been appointed acting Chief Information Security Officer of SNEI. In addition to his current role at SGS, Mr. Sakai, in his role at SNEI, will work to further reinforce overall information security across the company’s network infrastructure. Mr. Sakai will lead the recruiting effort in finding a new and permanent CISO for SNEI. As CISO, Mr. Sakai will report to Tim Schaaff, president, SNEI, as well as to Mr. Shinji Hasejima, CIO, Sony Corporation.
“While we understand the importance of getting our services back online, we did not rush to do so at the expense of extensively and aggressively testing our enhanced security measures. Our consumers’ safety remains our number one priority,” Hirai continued. “We want to assure our customers that their personal information is being protected with some of the best security technologies available today, so that everyone can feel comfortable enjoying all that PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have to offer.”
The restoration of the services across the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Middle East are beginning, and consumers will be able to enjoy some of the online functionality provided by both the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. Phased restoration in Japan and other Asian countries and regions will be announced in due course. The company expects to have the services fully restored by the end of May 2011.
The company will be offering customers a “Welcome Back” package of services and premium content to all registered PlayStation Network and Qriocity account services. The details of this program will be announced in each region shortly.