Is Sony’s PSN ‘Welcome Back’ enough?

Sony Japan apologizes for lengthy PlayStation Network outage but is it too little, too late?

Sony Japan’s explanation for the PSN’s takedown yesterday didn’t tell us much, but -- nearly a week and a half on -- at least the company apologized. Sony’s deputy president Kazuo Hirai took the stage, bent forward as if to touch his toes in a deep and held bow, then apologized “for the great anxiety and inconvenience” caused by the ongoing PSN and Qriocity outages.

The event was carefully orchestrated, equal parts compulsory and evanescent. The awkward, affected executive bowing and hangdog faces were displayed to soothe prickly gamers with crippled PS3s, as well as allay fears that Sony’s soon-to-be relaunched PSN could once more knock tens of millions of PSN members offline if violated -- again -- by determined hackers or data thieves.

The company trotted out a "Welcome Back" program, seeking to placate customers thwarted by the outage. The program amounts to free region-select "PlayStation entertainment content" to be distributed soon. PSN members will get a month of free access to Sony's premium PlayStation Plus service (if you're already a member, you'll see another 30 days tacked on). Qriocity members will enjoy an extra 30 days free as well.

Sony said PSN and Qriocity services will be back in part this week, with online gaming, on-demand music, and video rental content going first, followed later by services like the PS Store, which could take until mid-May.

What did they know? When? How? Sony said little, but admitted the attack was launched from an application server that sat behind a web server and two firewalls, that the attack was disguised as a store purchase, and that it involved software shrewdly deployed to access customer data located behind a third firewall. The company said it consulted two security firms -- one to investigate the initial intrusion, and another to probe further once it became clear customer information was in breach.

But no, the company didn't address rumors spread last week that "encrypted" credit card data had been stolen, decrypted, and circulated. The company just reiterated prior press statements: That the data was encrypted, and that it had no evidence -- yet -- that any numbers were in the wild. Interestingly: Sony says it'll pay the cost of reissuing credit cards should the need to cancel arise (I wasn't aware that cost customers anything).

Last but not least, Sony says it's appointed a security czar to keep an extra eye on its online services rolling forward. That, in addition to reconstituted servers and putatively superior watchdog software, is what now stands between hackers and another takedown.

Let's hope it's enough.

Interact with Game On: Twitter - Facebook - Get in touch

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags playstationGame platformsMicrosoftgaminggamesXboxsony

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?