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Sony resumes PlayStation Network‎ with new security measures

In order to get back online, PlayStation 3 owners first need to download a firmware update. In addition, this update requires users to change their password as a security precaution.

Nearly four weeks after PlayStation Network outage, triggered by massive security breach, Sony Corp. has resumed partial operation of its online gaming network and Qriocity entertainment services in the United States and Europe.

Sony pulled the plug on its online game and entertainment network after it discovered last month one of the biggest online data breaches in which the personal details of more than 100 million PlayStation Network and Qriocity users were stolen by hackers.

The Tokyo-based maker of PlayStation game consoles had abruptly shut down its online gaming network on April 20 but disclosed the news about the breach a week after, thus annoying users.

After more than a three-week long outage, Sony Online Entertainment brought its PlayStation Network back online in parts of Europe and the United States Saturday, according to multiple online published reports, citing the company as saying on the PlayStation blog.

Sony begins phased restoration by region
Beginning Saturday night, Sony has started gradually rolling out its online PlayStation Network, including restoration of online signing for PSN and Qriocity, online gameplay on PS3 and PSP, services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, MLB.TV, friends lists, chat, trophy comparison and PlayStation Home.

The Tokyo-based maker of PlayStation game consoles had abruptly shut down its online gaming network on April 20 but disclosed the news about the breach a week after, thus annoying users.

Announcing the resumption of PSN service in a brief blog post, Patrick Seybold, Sony's senior director of corporate communications and social media, wrote, "Thank you for your patience and encouragement over the last few weeks."

Requirements to use the Network again
In order to get back online, PlayStation 3 owners first need to download a firmware update. In addition, this update requires users to change their password as a security precaution.

The new password should be: at least eight characters long, contain both numbers and letters, and prohibits use of the same character three times in a row.

"Please note that these services will take a bit of time to be turned on and rolled out to the whole country," Seybold wrote.

"The process has begun and some states are being turned on now, so please be patient as we reach your city and state. It will take several hours to restore PSN throughout the entire country, so please keep checking back for the latest updates. In the meantime, now's a great time to get your PS3's firmware updated, which is required to get online," he added.

New security measures installed
Also, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kazuo Hirai offered a video statement announcing the restoration of PSN services.

"I wish we could have restored the network services faster, but these attacks were serious and sophisticated, and it simply took time to install and test the new security measures across our entire system," Hirai said.

"While we understand the importance of getting our services back online, we did not rush to do so at the expense of extensively and aggressively testing our enhanced security measures. Our consumers' safety remains our number one priority.

"We want to assure our customers that their personal information is being protected with some of the best security technologies available today, so that everyone can feel comfortable enjoying all that PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have to offer," he continued in the video.

"The last few weeks have been tough for all of us," Hirai added. "Please know that we are doing everything we can to fully restore network services around the world and to regain your trust over the days weeks and months to come."