Sony confirms PlayStation Network’s return online delayed

7 May 2011

Despite promising that the PlayStation Network would return “within a week”, Sony has just revealed the network needs to be further security tested against potential cyber attacks and its return online will be delayed for an unspecified time.

Perhaps the threat of a third attack by hackers ensured Sony would leave nothing to chance after the details of 100m Sony users were stolen in two attacks; one on the PlayStation and Qriocity servers and a prior attack on the Sony Online Entertainment servers which yielded hackers credit and debit card details of 25,000 users.

Sony had intended to bring its PlayStation Network back online for its 77m online users by this weekend but further testing is needed.

Patrick Seybold, senior director of communications and social media at Sony, broke the news on the PlayStation blog.

“As you may know, we’ve begun the process of restoring the service through internal testing of the new system. We’re still working to confirm the security of the network infrastructure, as well as working with a variety of outside entities to confirm with them the security of the system. Verifying the system security is vital for the process of restoration.

No system restore until tests prove security of PlayStation Network

“Additional comprehensive system checks and testing are still required, and we must complete that process before bringing the systems online.

“As you’ve heard us say, our utmost priorities are the security of the network and ensuring your data is safe. We won’t restore the services until we can test the system’s strength in these respects,” Seybold said.

How long this could take hasn’t been made clear.

“When we held the press conference in Japan last week, based on what we knew, we expected to have the services online within a week.

“We were unaware of the extent of the attack on Sony Online Entertainment servers, and we are taking this opportunity to conduct further testing of the incredibly complex system.

“We know many of you are wanting to play games online, chat with your friends and enjoy all of the services PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have to offer, and trust me when I say we’re doing everything we can to make it happen. We will update you with more information as soon as we have it. We apologise for the delay and inconvenience of this network outage,” Seybold said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years