It's been a long two and a half months for Sony

It's been a rocky two and a half months for Sony Corp. (TYO:6758). Beaten by hackers dozens of times [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] and facing scores of international lawsuits for its data loss, the legendary Japanese gaming, music, movies, and consumer electronics firm has been put on the defensive.

But things are finally starting to look up for the company, at least for now.  After the long layoff Sony is preparing to allow Japanese PSN subscribers to get back in the game.  The company plans to restart the PSN, along with the PlayStation Store (a source of PS3 games and videos), and Qriocity services (video for internet TVs) on Wednesday in Japan.

After taking down the service on April 20, over what would later be revealed as a massive breach, Sony tried to bring the service back in mid-May but was promptly denied by regulators in its home nation of Japan.  The Japanese government wanted more information on how the unprecedented attack occurred and what Sony was doing to prevent further attacks.  Those fears proved founded when Sony was forced to pull the PSN after the discovery of another security hole.

Service was finally fully restored a second time in the U.S., greater North America, and Europe by early June.  Meanwhile, Sony was in talks with the Japanese to finally approve the final stage of the reboot.

Sony revealed that the attacks focused on the San Diego data center, which was the center of its North American PSN and Qriocity services.  Penetrating through three firewalls, Sony confirms that hackers were able to make off with the company's entire subscriber database, including credit card numbers.

Strangely, unlike subsequent less-sophisticated attacks, no one has claimed responsibility for this masterful heist.  Further, Sony said that it believes that none of the credit card information that was taken has been abused.

With the newly secured network finally back to life in Japan, the network will be back to where it was pre-attack.

Sony estimates that the PSN attack alone will cost it around ¥14B ($170M USD) for the investigative services, added security, free promotional offerings, and free identity theft protection to PSN subscribers.  However the company could end up paying ten times that sum or more, depending on the outcome of pending lawsuits.

A recent suit Sony Corporation of America, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment International cites "confidential witnesses" (ex-Sony employees) who claim massive layoffs in Sony's IT department occurred just before the attacks and left the company incapable of adequately protecting its users.  The suit accuses Sony of "spending lavishly" on security for its internal PS DevNetwork, while doing far less to protect its paying customers.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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