Sony PlayStation Network back online after intrusion

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Sony has restored its PlayStation Network (PSN), more than three weeks after service was crippled by a breach that resulted in the theft of personal information belonging to tens of millions of users.

On Saturday, the company announced the availability of PSN version 3.61, a software update that requires all users to change their password. Soon after, Sony began a phased restoration across the country, which now is complete.

All users, except those living in Asia, have regained access to PSN and Qriocity services. Qriocity is Sony's music, games, book and video on-demand service.

Sony also has resumed its Online Entertainment service, which also was affected by the breach, though its website -- www.soe.com -- was down as of 1:15 p.m. EST on Monday.

In total, the personal information of some 77 million PSN and Qriocity services users and approximately 25 million Sony Online Entertainment users were compromised by the attack, the source of which remains under investigation.

Kazuo Hirai, chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment, said in a video posted Friday that no system is immune from cyberattack.

However, in light of the incident, he said Sony has implemented increased encryption and firewalls and an "early-warning detection system." The company also is offering customers one year of free identity theft monitoring and protection.

"I can't thank you enough for your patience and support during this time," Hirai said.


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