Japan Keeps PlayStation Network Dark, Citing Security Concerns

Sony’s PlayStation Network began a gradual restoration process on
Saturday following a hack that brought about nearly a month of downtime.
But in Sony’s home country of Japan, an official says the government
will keep the network dark until it is convinced that the company has
taken adequate steps to secure it.

PSN JapanSony’s PlayStation Network began a gradual restoration process on
Saturday following a hack that brought about nearly a month of downtime.
But in Sony’s home country of Japan, an official says the government
will keep the network dark until it is convinced that the company has
taken adequate steps to secure it.

In a video
posted to the PlayStation Network blog over the weekend, Sony Group CEO
and Executive Deputy President, Kazuo Hirai announced the gaming
platform’s regionally phased restoration plan. The process began by restoring online, multi-player functionalities to PSN customers in the U.S.,
and will move on to restore other regions and functionalities in the
coming days.

Sony’s decision to relaunch its service in the U.S. before
the company’s home country of Japan was explained shortly after, when an Kazushige Nobutani, director of Japan’s Media and Content Industry department at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, told Dow Jones Newswire that regulators in that country still weren’t satisfied that the company had met the goals that it set out in early May for safe restoration of PSN and Qriocity media networks. In particular, Japanese government officials are concerned that Sony hasn’t shown how the defenses it has in place hacking countermeasures that are “good enough” compared to what it had in place in the past. The Ministry of Economy was also unconvinced that Sony had a solid plan in place to protect the security of cardholder data, he told Dow Jones.

In the
U.S., Sony restored the account sign-in for PlayStation Network and
Qriocity, online gameplay for PS3 and PSP, playback of rental video
content on PS3, Music Unlimited powered by
Qriocity on PS3 and access to third party services such as
Netflix, Hulu and so on, Sony said in a FAQ posted this morning on the PSN blog.

Users
attempting to log-in to their PSN profiles were greeted with a required
firmware upgrade, after which they were prompted to change their
passwords. That created a bottleneck, requiring Sony to shut services down again on Sunday to catch up.

The European version of the PlayStation blog has been releasing live updates on the restoration process via their Twitter handle,
and thus far services have been restored to North America, all of
Europe, Mexico, South America, the Middle East, New Zealand and
Australia.


Slideshow Sony’s Decade of Security Woes


It has been almost a month since Sony disclosed an “external intrusion” that ended up affecting some 100 million customers. Allegations of responsibility
were and continue to be cast upon Anonymous, despite ardent denials of
involvement from certain members of the loosely organized
Internet-collective. According to reports from the AP and other sources,
individuals have filed lawsuits against Sony and are seeking class
status in these cases.

Recent reports from Bloomberg suggested that attackers rented a server from Amazon’s EC2 service and launched their attack from there.

A
company spokesperson said that it was seeking advice from regulators in
Japan and other Asian nations on actions that must be taken to restore
access to PSN and Qriocity in those countries. 

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