Technology Science - Sony to restart Playstation Network

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Sony has announced it will begin a phased restoration of its PlayStation Network on Sunday, more than three weeks since the service had to be shut down because of a security breach.

The company said in a news release that the process to restart its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services will unfold in regions of the world as follows: the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.

The restoration will be complete by May 31.

The PlayStation Network, which enables console owners to download games, has been offline since April 19, after Sony discovered that hackers had breached security, accessing the personal information on 77 million accounts.

In a statement released Saturday, the company said it has improved its online security for consumers by making "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 firewalls."

The incident is considered one of the biggest data breaches on record. Sony admitted hackers likely got names, addresses and credit card information.

A $1-billion lawsuit related to the Sony data breach was announced in Ontario on May 3 on behalf of as many as one million Canadians.

Kazuo Hirai, executive deputy president of Sony Corporation, thanked customers for their patience.

"We know even the most loyal customers have been frustrated by this process and are anxious to use their Sony products and services again. We are taking aggressive action at all levels to address the concerns that were raised by this incident," Hirai said in a statement.

The company added it will be offering a "welcome back" package of services and content to all registered account holders on PlayStation Network and Qriocity, which streams movies on demand to compatible Sony devices. Details will be announced as service is rolled out in each region.

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