Gamers in Asia waiting for Sony's PlayStation network to come back up
May 17, 2011
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — After nearly a month-long outage, Sony’s PlayStation network is slowly coming back up — but not yet for gamers in Asia.
Those gamers include members of the U.S. military communities in Japan and South Korea who use non-U.S. Internet Service Providers, mainly those living off base.
Sony’s PlayStationNetwork and Qriocity services have been down worldwide since the company discovered in mid-April that its data center had been hacked. On Sunday, Sony announced a phased restoration, starting with the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.
Full worldwide service — with the possible exception of Japan — is expected by the end of May, Sony spokesman Yuki Kobayashi said Tuesday.
“For the services in Japan, we will be making an announcement in the very near future as to when they will be resumed,” she said. “We are ... working closely with government agencies involved, including a compensation program for the customers when and if they sustain actual damages because of the leakage of credit card numbers.”
Kazushige Nobutani, with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said Tuesday that the Japanese government isn’t preventing Sony from resuming service.
“However, there are two areas that require further explanation in the measures they said they would take,” he said. Nobutani said the Japanese government wants to know more about how Sony will prevent future security breaches and what measures they will take in response to the leaked credit card numbers.
Nobutani said that if Sony cannot promise additional security breaches, “it is natural for the users to wonder what measure would be taken” to protect them.
“This is what the government expects from Sony,” he said. “We are not saying ... Sony cannot resume the services. We are asking for a satisfactory explanation.”
Michael Wadkins, director of the community center activities and an active gamer at Misawa Air Base, Japan, said he’s been following the news closely and hopes the service is up and running in the near future.
“I’m still down right now and can’t get my favorite video game MotoGP,” said Wadkins, who lives off base and has a Japanese ISP. “I’m kind of jonesing a bit.”
He said he’s encouraging fellow gamers to check their credit reports to make sure they aren’t burned by the breach in security at Sony that allowed hackers access to about 24.6 million customer accounts.
Wadkins hadn’t provided his credit card information, so he’s not overly worried.
“I might get a few new pieces of spam e-mail,” he said.
According to Sunday’s news release, Sony worked to increase security measures following discovery of the attack.
“The company has made considerable enhancements to the data security, including updating and adding advanced security technologies, additional software monitoring and penetration and vulnerability testing, and increased levels of encryption and additional firewall,” according to the release. “The company also added a variety of other measures to the network infrastructure including an early-warning system for unusual activity patterns that could signal an attempt to compromise the network.”