Asia OKs Sony PlayStation Network’s return

sony-psn-playstation-networkSony’s beleaguered PlayStation Network will be switched back on in Asia on May 28, the BBC reports. The region is the last to allow Sony to resume its PSN after a series of hacker attacks left 100 million users exposed to identity theft.

Limited restoration of the PSN began in most of the world on May 14, 15 and 16 after a complete shutdown of the PSN, Qirocity services, and Sony Computer Entertainment, on April 20, due to the security breach. But Asian nations, including Sony Corp’s home country of Japan, refused to allow the network to reboot due to lingering concerns over customer privacy. Those concerns, its seems, have now faded.

Since the initial return of the PSN, Sony has faced multiple attacks to other parts of its network, mostly websites hosted on servers outside the United States.

Additional attacks on Sony’s systems started on May 18, when hackers used customer information stolen during the initial attacks to break into other users’ accounts, which resulted in the shutdown of multiple Sony websites, including the PSN password reset page. This was followed by a phishing site planted on a Sony website in Thailand; another attack a few days later on the Sony BMG Greece website, which resulted in the exposure of additional private user data; and, finally, the data theft of information of about 2,000 customers of Sony Ericsson Canada’s e-shopping website.

Amidst all of this insanity, the company has powered forward with the launch this week of its complimentary identity protection service for all customers.

Sony estimates that the breach of its network will cost the company roughly $170 million in lost revenue. That number, however, pales in comparison to the total $3.1 billion it expects to lose during fiscal year 2011, mostly due to damages caused by the devastating natural disasters endured by Japan earlier this year, and which continue to wreak havoc on the island nation to this day.

Needless to say, it’s been a rough few months for Sony. Hopefully for the company, the hard times have passed.

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