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All systems are a "go" for Sony's PSN service in the U.S.  (Source: Sony)

PS3 and PSP users have been without PSN service for the past three weeks
PSN customers can now rejoice, services are being restored

It's been a rough few weeks for Sony and its customers that rely on the PlayStation Network (PSN) service for online multiplayer and numerous other online services. PSN initially went offline on April 21 after Sony discovered a security breach that resulted in the loss of 77 million customer records. An additional 24 million accounts were compromised on the Sony Online Entertainment service.

I. Services come back online

PSN is back online for customers living in the United States, Canada, and Europe; so gamers should be happy to hear that they can now continue to race, compete, kill, and trash talk with gamers around the globe. In order to access the new and reinvigorated PSN, however, customers will have to update their PS3's to firmware v3.61. In addition, Sony understandably forces customers to change their password to access PSN.  

  • According to Sony, these are the services that will be initially restored for customers: 
  • 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
  • 'Friends' category on PS3, including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison, etc
  • PlayStation Home 

 II. Sony apologizes (again) 

Sony Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai also took the time to address customers and express regret for the trouble this security breach has caused for the past three weeks. "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 Hirai. "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.

Hirai also attempted to reassure customers that it takes security seriously and that "Our consumers' safety remains our number one priority." Hirai concluded by stating, "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."  

III. Now what? 

It’s one thing to lose usernames, passwords, and email addresses in a security breach, but Sony experienced far worse. Not only were the full names and addresses of customers compromised, but credit card data was also obtained for some user accounts. As a result, Sony has come under pressure by members of the U.S. Senate and is the focus of a class-action lawsuit. In addition, retailers around the globe reported that PS3 returns spiked during the PSN outage, with many customers trading in their Sony consoles for Xbox 360s made by Microsoft. 

However, George "GeoHot" Hotz explained back in late April that Sony has no one but itself to blame for this whole mess.

The fault lies with the (Sony) executives who declared a war on hackers, laughed at the idea of people penetrating the fortress that once was Sony, whined incessantly about piracy, and kept hiring more lawyers when they really needed to hire good security experts. Alienating the hacker community is not a good idea.

Sony is adamant about protecting its customer data, and we applaud them for that. However, it may take more than a few months of free online services for customers to have full faith in Sony again.

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RE: Hotz Needs to Take a Look in the Mirror
By StevoLincolnite on 5/15/2011 1:18:38 PM , Rating: 3
No excuse for Sony on this I'm afraid, the Encryption keys should have been better protected.
In-fact the entire network should have been better protected.

Every other service, be it, Xbox Live!, Facebook, My Space... None have had breaches on this level. (Not saying that it can't happen).
Why is that exactly? It's because of poor security on several levels.

Unfortunately Sony had to learn the hard way, but that's life. - Other companies have probably taken note and beefed up their own security, so at-least some good may have come of it.

RE: Hotz Needs to Take a Look in the Mirror
By MindParadox on 5/15/2011 2:30:58 PM , Rating: 5
the encryption keys didnt and still dont give access to anything but developer functions on the playstation box itself

they DID NOT give anyone access to sony's servers and account information databases, anyone who could actually manage to believe that needs to go sue the doctor that gave them a lobotomy

Geohotz hacking only reenabled the "use other OS on individual playstation 3 consoles, get yer facts straight

RE: Hotz Needs to Take a Look in the Mirror
By chick0n on 5/16/11, Rating: -1
By tastyratz on 5/16/2011 10:29:59 AM , Rating: 3
Smart guy,
The problem was vulnerability exploits on an apache server not behind sufficient firewalls which just so happened to have credit card data for ps3 users, not "root key". Sony lost more than ps3 credit card numbers and the link to "geohot" or many of the other hackers who did far more than him is quite weak. (in fact, the root key was just found from a mistake by Sony - unsalted poorly encrypted data)

EVEN IF HYPOTHETICALLY this was hacked through the psn developer network on a copy of rebug or something then that ALSO should have been secured by Sony. The developer network was trusting and left open quite a bit. People running unsigned code on psn has been happening for awhile now. Leaving it open is like saying "I have a mac, so I cant get a virus"

While idiots like you keep demonizing jailbreaking and villianizing the media sensationalized geohot those who have been involved know better.

What "jailbreaking" the ps3 did was allow the ps3 to run your own code, and that is no different from being able to download and install programs of your choosing on a Microsoft windows machine. Just like on the windows machine people can now choose to utilize their ps3 to play games/programs written by someone else and just as well as you can crack a game or program on your pc by running code under your own free will... you can pirate ps3 games now.

Jailbreaking is not piracy, it is freedom - and from freedom piracy has sprung.

RE: Hotz Needs to Take a Look in the Mirror
By Reclaimer77 on 5/16/2011 9:24:27 AM , Rating: 1
PSN was down for two weeks! The only way that would happen to Xbox Live is if a nuclear bomb went off in the U.S.

Why is that exactly? It's because of poor security on several levels.

Actually Sony just flat out has a bad track record when it comes to online services. They promised, and failed, to deliver with the PS2. PSN is just a mess even when it's "up", and now this complete ignorance when it comes to security.

By Breakfast Susej on 5/16/2011 2:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
If I am not mistaken the Xbox Live Christmas outage was two weeks thereabouts.

While I am not 100% certain on the time it was down, it was a long time, and it did not take a nuclear strike, simply negligence in anticipating capacity for the Christmas rush.

Sony has indeed lagged behind in the online arena. Perhaps this will be in the end a good thing for Sony customers, assuming it forces them to re-evaluate their position and build a more comprehensive and secure online service. Or perhaps they will go back to business as usual, time will tell.

Nevertheless It has been beneficial to myself in at least one way. I will be avoiding storing of my credit card data with online retailers or services wherever possible from now on. Live and learn.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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