Sony flips the switch back on for PlayStation Network
Sony on Saturday said it has started to gradually bring back its online PlayStation Network, beginning with California and some states in the Northeast.
Sony pulled the plug on its online game and entertainment network, which services tens of millions of PlayStation 3 users, when the company last month discovered that its data centers had been infiltrated and its customers' personal information most likely stolen.
Lawmakers, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), made a fuss about the weeklong delay between the time Sony shut down its service and when it disclosed to its users that their information had been compromised.
The rebuke from policymakers prompted public apologies from senior Sony executives, including Chief Executive Howard Stringer and his heir apparent, Kazuo Hirai.
Sony has said it is working with the FBI to track down the hacker who illegally accessed its computers. A report by Bloomberg alleged that the infiltrator had rented Amazon.com's servers to launch the attack.
Meanwhile, it has been all hands on deck at Sony, whose employees have been working round the clock to reinforce its online security measures and restore the PlayStation Network and Qriocity music and movie services.
Sony said the process could take "several hours" to roll out across the country. The company has posted an online map that continually updates to show its progress in turning its services back on.
-- Alex Pham
Photo: A man walks on a Sony PlayStation logo on the floor of an electronics store in Tokyo on April 27, 2011. Credit: Reuters/Yuriko Nakao