The Playstation Network hacking nightmare is set to come to an end this week as Sony restores all services in Japan, the last territory to be affected.
On April 20, 2011, the Playstation Network was taken offline after Sony detected an intrusion at one of its data centers. PS3 owners were left in the dark for over a week as Sony remained silent in the face of intense criticism.
The company eventually announced what had happened, which was a major hacking incident whereby the account details of millions of PSN users had been compromised. Credit card details could also have been stolen, but that has never been confirmed. The culprits have also never quite been nailed, despite an admission of guilt from disparate hacker group Anonymous.
After more preparation and securing the network against further intrusions, from Anonymous or whomever, Sony finally brought the Playstation Network back online in many parts of the world, including the U.S. and Europe, on May 16. By the end of June everything was back up and running everywhere apart from in Japan, Sony’s home country. This was due to the authorities wanting further assurances as to how safe the network was.
After further negotiations between Sony and the authorities, the Playstation Network is finally coming back online in Japan on July 6, a full 10 weeks after it was knocked offline. This means all PSN services will have then been switched back on in every territory around the world. And about time too.
While the hacking threat may be over, and Sony more confident than ever that the PSN is secure, the company is still counting the cost of the outage. It has been estimated that the whole sorry episode will have cost Sony around ¥14 billion (US$170 million) during this financial year. Which is no small amount, even for a company as large and as successful as Sony is.