updated 08:40 pm EDT, Thu May 5, 2011
Sony says PSN getting close to online
Sony on Thursday night said that it was in the "final stages" of testing its promised restorations of both the PlayStation Network and Qriocity. No timeline was given. It had originally promised service back up by mid-week and hasn't explained the delay, although the restoration is bringing both tougher locks on PSN itself as well as a mandatory password change that involves new firmware.
Company chief Sir Howard Stringer also posted a letter personally apologizing for allowing the hack to happen and the resulting downtime. Along with mentioning the compensation, including a month of free PlayStation Plus and extended subscriptions, he maintained the company's defensive stance. It was a "fair question" why Sony hadn't responded sooner, but it was a "time-consuming" process learning what had happened, Sir Stringer said.
The statements mostly echoed those of an official response to Congress on what had happened.
The game console creator explained the US side of the identity theft protection it promised at its Sunday media event. American gamers hit by the PSN and Qriocity hacks will get free protection through Debix's AllClear ID Plus plan for a year after they sign up. The deal will give $1 million in identity theft insurance as well as outside site monitoring and direct contact with private investigators if they suspect a breach.
Both PSN and Qriocity members will have until June 18 to sign up for the Debix safeguards. Sony promised to push out e-mail with both a code for the free access sometime "soon."
The protection is being rolled out after Sony admitted that the PSN attack compromised accounts. Teams exploring the problem have maintained that credit card information was likely safe and considered warnings mostly a hedge. Some gamers have claimed fraud activity on their cards, but not enough so far to definitively point to more than coincidence.