Sony has outlined its plan for the restoration of the PlayStation Network following the release of new firmware.
The phased restoration is on a country by country basis beginning in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.
The first phase for North America and Europe includes:
- Sign-in for PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords.
- Restoration of online gameplay across PlayStation 3 and PSP.
- Playback rental video content, if within rental period, of PlayStation Store Video Store on PS3, PSP and Media Go.
- Music Unlimited, for current subscribers, on PS3 and PC.
- Access to third party services such as VidZone and MUBI.
- Friends' category on PS3, including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison, etc.
- PlayStation Home.
"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," Sony chief Kaz Hirai said.
"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.
"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.
"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."
Sony confirmed that it expects to have the PSN services fully restored by the end of May 2011.
Meanwhile, Sony has explained how it will better protect user information in the future.
Sony has made "considerable enhancements" to its 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 said tonight.
Sony 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.
"During the past 18 months, we've seen a dramatic rise in the volume of cyber attacks, their sophistication and their impact on businesses," Francis deSouza, senior vice president, Enterprise Security Group, Symantec, said.
"Thwarting cyber-crime requires an evolutionary approach to security that is well integrated, reduces risk exposure and improves efficiencies.
"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 centre, it's clear they're implementing measures to reduce security risks moving forward."