After 22 grueling days of outage, gamers and users throughout the world can finally reconnect to the PlayStation Network after Sony carried out a phased restoration process. Although PlayStation store access won’t be restored until later, PSN’s reactivation restores online multiplayer and chat functions, friends list and trophy comparison functionality, PlayStation Home, and services like Hulu, Netflix, and MLB.tv. Once logging in, PSN users will be required to update to the latest 3.61 firmware and change their account passwords. Details about changing your password are provided below from the PlayStation Blog:
“If using a PS3, your password can only be changed on your own PS3 (or a PS3 on which your PSN account was activated), as an added layer of security. If you have never downloaded any content using your account on the system, an email will be sent to the registered sign-in ID (email address) associated with your account when you first attempt to sign-in to PSN. This e-mail will contain a link that will enable you to change your password. In this email, click on the link and follow the instructions to change your password. Once you have changed your password you can sign-in to your account using your new password.”
Down for over 3 weeks after hackers breached the network’s security, Sony had to rebuild the entire PlayStation Network with more advanced security technology, encryption, firewalls, and early-warning systems. The outage affected over 77 million users worldwide and, even worse, the security breach may have allowed for the hackers to steal personal credit and debit card information from over 24 million user accounts.
Kazuo Hirai, Sony Corporation’s Executive Deputy President, released a video statement on the PlayStation Blog providing more detailed information on the restoration of the PlayStation Network and the new security features being implemented.
To compensate for the long outage and compromise of account information, Sony is offering 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus service, which provides exclusive access to certain games and beta trials. To those users who are already subscribed to the PlayStation Plus service, an additional 30 days will be added for free. Sony Online Entertainment subscribers will also receive a special Welcome Back Program upon return.
At this point though, how many PSN users will even want to return to the network after the massive failure that Sony just dealt with?