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PSN Has Been Restored in North America

by William Schwartz on May 15, 2011


The PlayStation Network has been restored in North America .  All states in the U.S. have come back online as well as Canadian provinces and territories.  After nearly a full month of downtime filled with questions about the whats, whys, whos, and most importantly whens,  Sony has restored their free-to-play online service.  Hopefully, the PlayStation Network is back and more secure than ever before, and we can put these problems behind us.

Here’s the timeline on how PSN-gate 2011 played out.

April 17-19: An “unauthorized intrusion” into Sony’s PlayStation Network servers occurs.

April 19: Sony notices that unusual activity is taking place on PSN, including servers rebooting themselves. Sony’s network team begins internal investigation, finds more servers were compromised. Sony discovers “credible indications that an intruder had been in the PlayStation Network systems.” Sony begins shutting down all of PSN.

April 20: Sony hires security firm to investigate. PlayStation Network servers work intermittently, then go offline permanently. Players notice. Sony does not publicly announce evidence of security breach or investigation, but releases brief statement: “We’re aware certain functions of PlayStation Network are down. We will report back here as soon as we can with more information.”

April 21: Sony hires a second security firm to assist with the investigation. Sony issues another update to the public, which reads: “While we are investigating the cause of the Network outage, we wanted to alert you that it may be a full day or two before we’re able to get the service completely back up and running.”

April 22: Security teams continue to investigate. Three days after discovering “credible indications” that an intrusion had occurred, Sony reveals this to the public in an update: “An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.”

April 23: Security team confirms that a “sophisticated and aggressive” hacker or team of hackers had gained unauthorized access and cleaned their tracks behind them. Sony issues another brief update, saying that it will now take extra time to fix PSN’s issues: “Our efforts to resolve this matter involve re-building our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure.”

April 24: Sony hires a third security firm tasked with, among other things, “determine the scope of the data theft.”

April 25: Forensic teams “confirm the scope of the personal data they believed had been taken.” Sonyissues a non-update. First outage report appears on Wired.com. The IDG News Service reports that Sony “has not yet determined if the personal information or credit card numbers of users have been compromised.” Anonymous denies responsibility.

April 26: Sony informs the public that personal information and possibly credit card details for over 70 million PlayStation Network accounts may have been leaked. Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal writes to Sony concerning the “troubling lack of notification… about the nature of the data breach.”

April 27: Sony posts Q&A about the security breach clarifying points for consumers, including the fact that credit card numbers were encrypted. It says it expects to have services available “a week from yesterday,” or Tuesday, May 3. California congressperson Mary Bono Mack speaks out on data theft, plans a hearing.

April 28: A second Q&A says that Sony is evaluating plans for a “goodwill gesture” to its customers. Sony Online Entertainment tells its customers that, to the best of its knowledge, it was not affected by the data leak.

May 1: Sony holds press briefing in Tokyo, announces that some PlayStation Network services will be back “this week” (ending May 7) and detailing goodwill gesture: Sony will give 30 free days of its PlayStation Plus premium service to all of its members, plus a selection of free downloadable content. However, the PlayStation Store will not be online until later in May, it says.

May 2: Situation worsens: After telling customers of its Sony Online Entertainment service that their data was not involved in the breach, Sony now says 24.6 million SOE accounts were also potentially leaked, leading to a total of over 100 million compromised accounts. SOE abruptly takes its services, like DC Universe Online and Facebook games, offline. Sony declines to attend Congressional hearing on data theft.

May 3: Sony Computer Entertainment chairman Kazuo Hirai sends a lengthy written letter to Bono Mackwith detailed responses to the House’s questions. In the letter, Hirai writes that Sony had found a file left by the hackers that referred to the group Anonymous. (Later, Anonymous again denies responsibility.)

May 4: At House hearing, Congressperson Bono Mack blasts Sony’s approach to the situation: “In Sony’s case, company officials first revealed information about the data breach on their blog. That’s right. A blog. … Sony put the burden on consumers to ’search’ for information, instead of accepting the burden of notifying them. If I have anything to do with it, that kind of half-hearted, half-baked response is not going to fly in the future.”

May 5: Sony says it is in the final stages of internal testing of the rebuilt PSN. Sony Computer Entertainment America offers free identity theft protection to all U.S. PlayStation customers. Sony CEOHoward Stringer finally weighs in with a letter to customers, saying that it will bring PlayStation Network back online “in the coming days.” CNET reports that hackers are planning another attack.

May 6: Sony says it will miss its deadline for restoring PlayStation Network services by the end of the week, says it is in the final testing stages of the new system.

May 8: Christian Svensson, senior vice president of PlayStation Network game developer Capcom, says on his company’s forums that he is “frustrated and upset” by the downtime and that his company is losing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in planned-for revenue.

May 9: Sony spokesperson in Japan tells Bloomberg that it is “unsure” when services will be restored, but that the plan to have everything, including PlayStation Store, online by May 31 is unchanged.

May 10: Sony’s Patrick Seybold posts a terse update on company’s official blog saying that there is no firm date for the restoration of PSN yet, and that it will take “at least a few more days.”

May 15th: Sony’s Kaz Hirai addresses Sony PS3 players by video announcing the return of PSN.  Players Rejoice.  THE END!

Source: Majority of Timeline from Wired

Say Something
  • Gman

    Well I am so glad it’s back, surprisingly even before the May 31st deadline. This just shows Sony cares, I never had doubt Sony will pull this through. For you PS3 haters out there, you all can go suck it.

    • DC

      The fact that it came before the 31st it was expected :) Im happy as well i can play DCUO once more!!!!!

  • Andrew

    When is it back on in the uk?

  • yvens

    a you back switcher un true psn player hahahaha it back on you stick to your xbox now and if you switch you just a other un true system player and i be waiting for you switch on black ops and thank you mr.kazura for giving us back are psn and more of the other worker team work something xbox dont have and faith too

  • Lucas

    as usual, i guess europe will be last. (for the servers to be turned on)

    • PSN

      It will be up after Americas so its 2nd to be up then Australia and Middle East

    • TUI_MAN_NZL

      is this the lucas frm napier new zealand ??

  • chris

    when is europe back

  • guy

    can we get a world map?

  • Andrew

    hey does anyone know when its back on for australia? thnks

    • Ruby

      Nope. Full services haven’t been fullfilled entirely anywhere so guess what… You and many others are still in the dark when it comes to these questions. Sony says it will be a process over the next few days bringing services to their full. That’s what seriously bothers me about them, they do not communicate until very last moment before they do something.

    • DC

      They dont want to give deadlines when they are not sure if they can do it or not its that simple. remember what happened last weekend or the one before when they said that the network was going back online?

  • audi787b

    uhm apparently its America,europe,aus then the rest:)

  • Ruby

    Um, no, not rejoicing and the end. Where is our welcome back package? Where is it Sony? Where…

    • David

      Sony said that they would announce the welcome back package in a few days, after all the servers have been started up again. :)

    • Frank

      PS Store is still down. God, people like you are impatient.

  • C_E_L_T_I_C_S

    ABOUT TIME!!! TOOK LONG ENOUGH!!!

  • audi787b

    hey man stop bitchin….Sony is doin their BEST to bring it back online around the world…in the first place wasn’t their fault that some lifeless fat nerd hacker hacked into psn…

    • Sircassiel

      It was anonymous, not some dumbass. Anonymous was pissed because of Geo Hotz being sued for jailbreaking the ps3, so, they protested by Sending viruses into the psn to repeatedly re-boot servers. When Sony saw the servers re-booting automatically, they found a file titled: “Anonymous” with an attachement with their motto in it! Sony becomes unsure about anything else and guess that credit card info was stolen! Anonymous denies stealing credit card info, end of story.

  • audi787b

    just one question….
    it said on one of the other psn blogs that you can only change your password on the ps3 u first activated it….ok in this case what could i do because my fat ps3 died of YLOD!?!?

    • WannaPlayCODblackOps

      My old PS3 dies of YLOD…. fat one…you cant do anything buddy… buy a new one

  • Anubis787

    No, it wasn’t their fault they got attacked. But it was their fault of being inept to the attack. Hopefully they learned, only time will tell when the attack comes again. You guys are happy a system that allowed our personal data to be accessed, I am a bit more cautious to trust Sony. If the PSN gets hit again, I am buying an X360. Time will tell.

  • Andrew

    Not ‘The End’ for the rest of the world. I figure that you’ll stop covering the story now that the US is back up. Who cares anymore? As long as the US is satisfied, FTW huh?

  • Marchand

    Africa is always at the bottom of the food-Chane even tho we have the lION, lol. glad its coming back, these weeks of waiting was excruciating!!! cant wait to shoot all of you again on black ops :-)…

  • Sircassiel

    It was actually beneficial to us to have the psn down: While it was down, we had nothing to do but kill Osama :D
    I think anonymous got Osamas psn account and gave the info to the states ;)

  • audi787b

    Sircassiel…..LOL haha that could be the case ehh…:DDD
    anyways cant wait till psn comes on in Aus…

  • eyeprefernot2

    what about asia? im in korea, this sucks.

  • audi787b

    Anubis is ur name meant to say a-nub-is-787?hmm clever name..

  • jinx.sixx

    is back here on Australia?

  • audi787b

    No unfortunately its not back in Aus yet…

  • Sadi2009

    Dude Went It gone work at Bangladesh?? and Brunei Man Pleas i really Want PSN back i mean that PSN is the Best Forever!! Peace!! :D

    • Sadi2009

      Who Dislike?, That Mean You’re the Hacker :P JK

  • wopper

    huh suprise suprise americans first, aways gotta get there way with everything

  • PSN FAN!!

    this proves that even if sony give us FREE online play unlike some greedy companies *cough*xbox*cough* they still care and that they actually sacrifice a lot of money just so we can get the best quality in online gaming. I will always be a PS fan.

    PS for the win
    xbox down the bin
    sony is awesome
    microsoft can kiss my bottom

    • http://www.facebook.com/#!/bozmanbeyond bozmanbeyond

      Flamer!!

  • HunteRStonE

    Does anyone know when its coming on in South Africa, im guessing its going to be one of the last places

  • josh1996

    Hay dose anyone know when os3 is back for australia

  • TUI_MAN_NZL

    when is it back on in Australasia (Australia & New Zealand)

  • WannaPlayCODblackOps

    When will it be there in india… ugh waiting anxiously :(

  • Gulrez

    I’m curious which direction this restoration of the PSN will be heading. Either South East Asia or Europe? I’d prefer if it was heading towards Europe as Asia is pretty big!. How long did it take for the restoration to be completed in America?

    • nick

      it took about 5 hours to rstore america

  • pitaful

    comon yo i want a world map so we can see whats online & whats not & time frame & comon australia we wanna play

  • Sadi2009

    Went Is PSN Gone Work For All The Country? went is the END? to fix the PSN??

  • josh

    what time is it bak on in england

  • Joe

    This is all well and good but what about europe?

  • AJ

    when will psn be back up in australia ???

  • klngme

    Uk be patient, they are rolling them on one region at a time.

  • nick

    i stayed up all night playing

  • SquiiD-WarD

    When is it back on in the uk?…

  • audi787b

    “””WannaplayCodBlackops”””……read what people say than understand it…
    So after that u wont leave a stupid meaning less reply!

    • eyeprefernot2

      you look a lot dumber man. meaningless is one word and “than” is used to compare. for example, you are dumber than wannaplaycodblackss. think before you type then you wont look like the dummy.

  • Alex

    My psn was working again, changed password, but now its down again, anyone else having this problem?

  • dude

    Sony said the system has had to be shut off due to the large numbers of password reset. It’s just the process of restarting a massive network. No doubt millions of people are changing there personal info also…to a fake address fake name and removing the credit info.

  • dude

    Give it time. It’s like a power company doing rolling black outs when high draw is on there system. Better to turn off regions for an hour then to have there whole system overload and crash

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