What, another story about Sony? Yes, but this time it’s good news: after a month of downtime, the company is bringing some PlayStation Network services back in some parts of Asia. While there’s still no word on when US services are returning, some progress is still better than no word at all.
As of tomorrow, crucial services such as chat and online gaming will restart in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. As you may have noticed, there are still several services missing from that list, such as purchases of games and video content. An availability timeline for those services is still unknown at this point, as well as when PSN will make it to other Asian countries such as South Korea and Hong Kong. However, Sony still plans to have the service fully restored everywhere in the world by the end of the month, and since it’s already the 27th, availability should definitely be ramping up over the next few days.
Sony has been under fire over the last month ever since its PlayStation Network service was broken into and subscriber names, addresses, passwords and even credit card numbers were leaked onto the internet. Since then, the situation only became more embarrassing for Sony, especially when precisely a week ago, the company’s Thai website was found to be running a live phishing site targeting customers of an Italian credit card company. Just this week, the Japanese company fell victim to two attacks: last Tuesday, a SQL injection on Sony Music Japan and Greece compromised around 8500 accounts; and just two days ago, 2,000 other usernames, emails and what appeared to be hashed passwords were leaked from Sony Ericsson’s Canadian eShop site, thankfully not credit card numbers.
Sony has attempted to take action to fix this PR mess. The company has arranged "Welcome Back" packages to subscribers, offering free games, subscription extensions and a free weekend of movie streaming. In addition, the company is giving out a full year of free premium-grade data theft protection from Debix to everyone who had a subscription on April 20th, when the first attack took place. In all, the Tokyo-based company has lost $173 billion repairing the damages.
Meanwhile, if you own an iPhone, you can get PSN Status, an iPhone App that pings Sony’s servers and displays whether PlayStation Network has returned.
Will Sony be able to restore service in its entirety until the end of the month, in order to meet its deadline, or will that be another PR bombshell that’s bound to happen?