Sony: PSN restoration date of May 31 is inaccurate

By Staff, Tuesday, 10 May 2011 16:01 GMT

SCEA’s director of corporate communications and social media, Patrick Seybold, has said that the estimated May 31 restoration date for PSN services reported by Bloomberg is a bit misleading.

PSN Breach History

April 3 – Anonymous launches OpSony in retaliation for Hotz and Graf Chokolo suits.

April 11 – Sony settles Hotz suit.

April 19 – SCEA notices PSN breach, takes four servers offline.

April 20 – Another intrusion is found, all servers go offline, two security experts hired over next two days.

April 22 – Sony notified FBI regarding intrusion.

April 23 – Another forensics team is brought on board.

April 25 – Sony is made aware that PSN and Qriocity accounts have been accessed.

April 26 – The public is notified reagrding the intrusion, states credit card information “could” have been compromised.

April 29 – US House of Representatives subcommittee asks for more information on the attack.

April 30 – Kazuo Hirai apologizes to Sony’s during a press conference.

May 1 – SOE found to be conpromised as well; file called Anonymous discovered by forensics which states “We are legion.”

May 4 – Congressional hearing held, Sony pulishes letter to congress.

May 5 – Sony plans to offer creit report services, monitoring, and other compensation; Anonymous denies involvement.

May 6 – Another attack rumored for Sony; Anonymous thinks rogue members attacked PSN; SCEA to offer free games as compensation.

May 7 – Sony announces it has no ETA on when PSN services will resume.

According to an earlier report, Shigenori Yoshida, a Tokyo-based spokesman for the firm, said that Sony was uncertain when it could resume PSN services, and that the “company is in the process of adopting an improved security system and its plan to restart the services fully by May 31 is unchanged.” However, Seybold has said there is no new information regarding a new launch date.

Sony said in a Japanese press conference on Sunday, May 1, that online play on PSN and access to music service Qriocity would be restored “this week,” but that PlayStation Store will not return until sometime “this month,” as the promised restoration of partial services in the week ending May 8 went unfulfilled.

Per a statement from Seybold received by Venture Beat, Sony has yet to provide any date whatsoever for the restoration of services, and has not provided any outlet with any information pertaining to when to expect said service restoration.

Seybold added that he was in the process of “trying to clean,” up the May 31 misinformation “now,” which has resulted in Sony updating its FAQ on the matter to state that “restoration of online gamplay is the FIRST phase of the plan to restore,” the PlayStation Network.

The SCEA executive also commented on the CNET report on Friday,, which stated that Anonymous was planning a “third attack” against Sony over the weekend – an attack which never happened, because, according to CNET, the publicity surrounding the plan resulted in Sony taking down the one live server it supposedly had up and running.

According to Seybold: “There is no accuracy to that report. We’re focused on ensuring the security of the network before bringing the services back online.”

Seybold has since posted on the US PS Blog that “it will likely be at least a few more days,” before service is restored.

“We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work through this process.”

Nick Caplin, head of communications at SCEE posted the same message on the EU PS Blog.

All PSN services are still offline

Following confirmation last week that SOE’s user data servers had also been hacked, Sony said in a statement over the weekend: “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. Additional comprehensive system checks and testing are still required, and we must complete that process before bringing the systems online.”

Sony took PSN offline over April 19 and April 20 after hackers compromised user data on the online PlayStation service.

PSN service still experiencing downtime

Sony said on both the EU and US PS Blogs on Saturday that PSN is still down, and that the firm is unsure when it’ll resume.

On Thursday, Sony posted that it was entering into the final stages of its new security testing, and that there was the possibility that some functionality would be restored by Friday.

A company spokesperson told Reuters that restoration within the original expected time-frame would not be possible, and no firm restoration date could be provided.

The latest note from SCEA and SCEE posted on both Sony blogs states that “based on what” Sony knew during its press conference in Japan last week, it “expected to have the services online within a week,” and blamed the emergence of information related to the SOE hack for the delay.

PSN sweepstake data posted

In addition, Reuters is reporting that Sony found names and partial addresses of 2,500 sweepstakes contestants which were posted on the Internet by hackers.

Information pulled from a Sony database included information on those who entered a product sweepstakes contest in 2001 including “some” physical addresses. However, the list was devoid of credit cards numbers, social security information or passwords.

“The website was out of date and inactive when discovered as part of the continued attacks on Sony,” said Sony, which also had the site taken down after it became aware of it on Thursday.

The possible cost

Estimates regarding the cost of the service downtime, included the amount Sony has forked out to security firms handling the investigation, have ranged anywhere from the moderate by industry standards ($1.6 million) to the utterly ridiculous ($24 billion).

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has estimated that if hackers used at the least 5,000 of potentially compromised credit card numbers to participate in theft, it could cost Sony $1.6 million in reimbursements (via VentureBeat).

In regards to lost profit, Mizuho Investors Securities analyst Nobuo Kurahashi told the Wall Street Journal that the security breach could cost Sony $1.25 billion in lost business, new security investments, and consumer compensation.

The possible financial fallout is also being monitored by the stock exchange, which at one point dropped Sony’s stock 6 percent following the announcement of the breach.

The firm saw a 2 percent rise after its bow-heavy public apology, but until the firm gets the PSN service back online and makes public the security plans it has put into place, stock could continue to drop or remain rather flat.

Over in the US, Sony stock was up $0.08 (+0.29 percent) at the close of business on May 6, and in Japan it was down by ¥54.00 (-2.33 percent).

Sony is scheduled to report full-year and Q4 earnings for 2010 on May 26. It is unlikely that the firm will announce to investors how much it has spent or lost during the PSN breach, as the firm itself may not have the actual numbers crunched at that point.

It may have a preliminary figure, but it looks more likely to be a number provided during its next financial period.

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