Some delays, as Sony hits reset on millions of passwords

Sony Online Entertainment network customers get a 30-day bonus for sticking with the company

Sony has hit a few glitches as it pushes the reset button on its hacked gaming networks; apparently it's not easy to reset 102 million passwords.

After announcing the restart over the weekend, the company said Monday that its PlayStation Store is still not working, and some customers are having a hard time resetting their passwords. The "very large number of requests has caused certain ISPs to slow the rate at which recipients get emails from us," company spokesman Jeff Rubenstein wrote in a blog posting. "Please be patient as the systems work through the backlog."

Without going into specifics, the company warned on its Web site that some PlayStation.com services "may be unavailable due to phased restoration of PlayStation Network." Online gameplay and video playback are working, as are the networks' social services, such as chatting with friends, Rubenstein said.

The company will publish digital games several times per week to make up the backlog of titles it missed during the outage, just as soon as it restores the PlayStation store. Rubenstein didn't say when the store would be back online, though.

Service is still not restored in Asia, and there may be some problems in Japan too, where Sony has reportedly not satisfied local officials that it has taken adequate security precautions, according to a report by Dow Jones Newswires. Sony did not return messages seeking comment Monday.

Sony abruptly pulled the plug on its PlayStation Network and Qriocity media service on April 19, after discovering that someone had broken in and stolen an estimated 77 million user email addresses and passwords. On May 2, Sony acknowledged that the breach was worse than first thought, saying that another 24.6 million Sony Online Entertainment names and passwords had been stolen, along with bank and credit card information belonging to about 23,000 customers.

The company has promised compensation and credit protection services to customers. Rubenstein said that Sony will spell out the details of these packages for PlayStation Network and Qriocity users "soon."

However, the company has provided details for customers who subscribe to the company's Sony Online Entertainment massively multiplayer online role-playing game service.

They will get credit for the 15 days the network was offline as well as an extra 30 days worth of service as a thank-you bonus, Sony said. They can also sign up for one year worth of identity theft monitoring services from Debx. Customers have until June 28 to sign up for this service, which will alert them if their credentials are misused and insure them against identity theft. Sony will email sign-up details to customers who reset their passwords.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

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