Sony Executive earlier this week bowed in a traditional form of Japanese apology in regards to the PlayStation Network's outage and data breach which resulted in millions of identities being exposed. The conference which took place in Japan on May 1st outlined and timelined the chronicle of events that occured when the PlayStation Network was comprimised on April 17th.
Since that time Sony has brought in three separate security firms to assess the damage, track down the intruders, and rebuild their entire core infrastructure for their online service. While there is evidence that the hacker group called Anonymous was involved, given previous actions, the group has actually publically denounced any involvement with the hack - which most likely was the result of a splinter group.
An official press release put out by the company states that most services should be back online sometime this week. Here's the list of services Sony hopes to have Live by the weekend.
Restoration of Online game-play across the PlayStation®3 (PS3) and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) systems Access to Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3/PSP for existing subscribers Access to account management and password reset Access to download un-expired Movie Rentals on PS3, PSP and MediaGo PlayStation®Home Friends List Chat Functionality
Notice that the PlayStation Store is missing from this list. Its been rumored that part of this data breach involved a hack that allowed any user to access and download items from the PlayStation Store for free - this sort of lends credence to that theory.
Sony has stated that it has implemented new software and hardware level security measures on its network that will go live when the service comes back up. This includes new firmware for all PlayStation 3 units which will be required to connect to PSN. The entire process has escalated far beyond what anyone could have imagined. The US Government has gotten involved requesting detailed information from Sony concerning the timeline of events and what Sony is doing to help consumers. Details of Sony's response can be found here.
But what about damage control in all this? How is Sony going to apologize for such a massive data breach and outage? Its called the "Welcome Back" program - isn't that swell?
Central components of the “Welcome Back” program will include:Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon. All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service. Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers (in countries where the service is available) will receive 30 days free service.
Additional items will be added as bonuses for members as well. At teh very least everyone is getting a free game and a free PS+ subscription for 30 days - I guess that's something.