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PSN still not back, PlayStation Plus free for 30 days

12:58 AM on 05.01.2011 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
  @CTZ

Update:  Nope, its not happening any time soon.  Here's the latest news.

--

Finally, a beacon of light shines down on the PlayStation Network hacked / credit card fiasco.

Sony has announced that the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services will be coming back online this week. When this week? Sony didn't specify. The restoration of the network will be implemented in phases between regions, so it won't all be back up at once and it was specified which regions will be getting the service back first. Expect a forced system software update once you sign in which will require all users to change their passwords.

The services you should expect to see back will include online game-play functionality for the PS3 and PSN, access to Qriocity, access to account management, access to un-expired movie rentals, PlayStation Home (THANK GOD), friends list and chat functions. The PlayStation Store, however, will still be down and is (vaguely) scheduled to be back sometime "this month."

To make up for the downtime, Sony will be offering a complimentary "Welcome Back" appreciation program for all PlayStation Network and Qriocity users. Sony will be giving out "selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download," 30 days free membership to PlayStation Plus for new and current PS Plus subscribers and 30 days free service to Qriocity subscribers. The "Welcome Back" offerings will be "rolled out over the coming weeks."

Here's what Sony has done to beef up security and what they're doing for everyone effected by the credit cards leaks.

First off, Sony is creating a new position of Chief Information Security Officer whom will be reporting directly to Shinji Hasejima, Chief Information Officer of Sony Corporation. On top of this, Sony worked closely with several security firms and have new security measures in place to detect intrusions to the network.

Some of the new security measures include "automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks," enhanced levels of data protection, encryption and software that can detect intrusions within the network. There's also more firewalls. You can never have enough firewalls. The company has even gone as far as moving to a new data center in a location that "has been under construction and development for several months."

As for any potential credit card thefts, Sony will provide users with complimentary assistance to enroll in identity theft protection services. Still, I'd recommend you all to cancel/update your cards if you haven't done so already.

One final note, and an obvious one at that, Sony is working with law enforcement agencies to track down and prosecute the individuals responsible for the illegal intrusion. Kaz Hirai spoke of the cyber attacks in a press release stating "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."

What do you think? Do you feel Sony is making things up to you in the right way or is it a case of too little, too late?

Press Release: Some PlayStation Network and Qriocity Services to be Available This Week [PlayStation Blog]


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