Sony plans to fully restore all PlayStation services in Japan, finally resuming service after a massive security breach hobbled the company and issued in a wave of hack in April.
The Tokyo-based company announced it will restore online purchases of game content and video-on-demand from the PlayStation Network and Qriocity music service in Japan on July 6.
The restoration marks the final step to full service after an 11-week shutdown of video game services after hackers stole data from nearly 100 million accounts, one of the largest data breaches to date.
After the initial attack, Sony contended with a barrage of hacks to its websites and information systems, including a series of smaller intrusions in May and hacks on its Greek, Canadian, Thai and Indonesian websites.
The wave of data intrusions — and Sony’s lagging response in informing and protecting customers — caught regulators’ eyes and prompted them to invite the company for an appearance at a U.S. Congressional hearing.
As a result of the hearing, Sony reshuffled its gaming unit management and bolstered security by increasing server firewalls and adding software to monitor system vulnerabilities and intrusions. In addition, Sony also created the new post of chief information security officer.
The company also attempted to shore up its battered reputation with its customers by offering customers a free year of credit card monitoring services as well as free games.
But with a 12 percent drop in its share price since the initial breach, Sony faces an uphill battle to restore consumer confidence and regain its bearings. The April attack ushered in a wave of cyber-attacks on other companies and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the CIA, the U.S. Senate, defense contractor Lockheed Martin, Citibank, NATO and others.
Sony and other companies must now tread more carefully against the increasing boldness of hackers and make cyber security a stronger priority. Sony’s appointing an information security officer may be a solid step in this direction, especially since the company is likely on its guard for further attacks after its humiliating disaster this spring.
The hackers responsible for the original April breach are still at large, according to Sony. Hacktivist collective Anonymous initially claimed responsibility for a series of distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks that crippled Sony servers in April, but claimed it stole no data in subsequent breaches. Sony is working with authorities such as the FBI to identify the attackers, and the search for suspects continues.