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Sony PlayStation relaunch begins

Sony PlayStation relaunch begins

Sony has announced that it will begin restoring its online PlayStation video game network on Sunday.

The phased restoration of services will begin in the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.

The move comes more than three weeks after Sony discovered a huge security breach that led to the theft of personal data from millions of users.

The firm said its expects to have the network, including Qriocity services, fully restored by the end of May.

The restoration of Japanese and Asian services would begin soon, it added.

'Aggressive action' Continue reading the main story

The news of PlayStation Network's restart will be welcomed by gamers, many of whom were beginning to give up hope of it ever reappearing.

However porous the company's internet security was previously, you can bet it has now seriously beefed-up safeguards.

But that in itself creates a new problem.

There is nothing hackers love more than a challenge, and cracking the PlayStation Network for a second time will almost certainly become one of the holy grails for these electronic invaders.

Sony will be under no illusions that there is such a thing as perfect security, but the mere suggestion that its system has been "fixed" makes it a hostage to fortune.

Another breach would be disastrous for the beleaguered company.

In gaming parlance, Sony has used up all its lives, and the enemy is still at the gates.

Sony said it had implemented "new and additional security measures" that would provide users with better protection.

These were designed in conjunction with a number of external security firms, the company said, and include increased encryption levels and additional firewalls.

"I'd like to send my sincere apologies for the inconvenience this incident has caused you, and want to thank you for all the kind patience you've shown as we worked through the restoration process," said Kazuo Hirai, Sony's executive deputy president.

He added the company was taking "aggressive action" to resolve the security issues and was making "consumer protection a full-time, company-wide commitment".

The company said it would be offering a "welcome back" package to users that included some "premium content".

Sony first discovered the security breach, which led to the theft of personal data from 100m online accounts, on 20 April.

Many users were upset about the company taking two days to contact the police and almost a week to inform those people affected.

Sony hired outside specialist cyber-security firms to investigate the breach, and earlier this month blamed the online vigilante group Anonymous for indirectly allowing it.

The group has denied being involved in the theft.

Posted on Sunday 15th May 2011

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