NEWS: Sony plans to ‘restart PSN services fully by May 31′
Sony has told Bloomberg that PSN may not be fully restored until the very end of May, as the promised restoration of partial services in the week ending May 8 goes unfulfilled.
PSN BREACH HISTORY
Shigenori Yoshida, a Tokyo-based spokesman said for the firm, said that Sony is uncertain when it can resume the services, and that the “company is in the process of adopting an improved security system and its plan to restart the services fully by May 31 is unchanged,” to quote the article.
Sony said in a Japanese press conference on Sunday, May 1, that online play on PSN and access to music service Qriocity would be restored “this week,” but that PlayStation Store will not return until sometime “this month.”
All PSN services are still offline.
Following confirmation last week that SOE’s user data servers had also been hacked, Sony said in a statement over the weekend: “We were unaware of the extent of the attack on Sony Online Entertainment servers, and we are taking this opportunity to conduct further testing of the incredibly complex system. Additional comprehensive system checks and testing are still required, and we must complete that process before bringing the systems online.”
Sony took PSN offline over April 19 and April 20 after hackers compromised user data on the online PlayStation service.
PSN service still experiencing downtime
Sony said on both the EU and US PS Blogs on Saturday that PSN is still down, and that the firm is unsure when it’ll resume.
On Thursday, Sony posted that it was entering into the final stages of its new security testing, and that there was the possibility that some functionality would be restored by Friday.
A company spokesperson told Reuters that restoration within the original expected time-frame would not be possible, and no firm restoration date could be provided.
The latest note from SCEA and SCEE posted on both Sony blogs states that “based on what” Sony knew during its press conference in Japan last week, it “expected to have the services online within a week,” and blamed the emergence of information related to the SOE hack for the delay.
PSN sweepstake data posted
In addition, Reuters is reporting that Sony found names and partial addresses of 2,500 sweepstakes contestants which were posted on the Internet by hackers.
Information pulled from a Sony database included information on those who entered a product sweepstakes contest in 2001 including “some” physical addresses. However, the list was devoid of credit cards numbers, social security information or passwords.
“The website was out of date and inactive when discovered as part of the continued attacks on Sony,” said Sony, which also had the site taken down after it became aware of it on Thursday.
The possible cost
Estimates regarding the cost of the service downtime, included the amount Sony has forked out to security firms handling the investigation, have ranged anywhere from the moderate by industry standards ($1.6 million) to the utterly ridiculous ($24 billion).
Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has estimated that if hackers used at the least 5,000 of potentially compromised credit card numbers to participate in theft, it could cost Sony $1.6 million in reimbursements (via VentureBeat).
In regards to lost profit, Mizuho Investors Securities analyst Nobuo Kurahashi told the Wall Street Journal that the security breach could cost Sony $1.25 billion in lost business, new security investments, and consumer compensation.
The possible financial fallout is also being monitored by the stock exchange, which at one point dropped Sony’s stock 6 percent following the announcement of the breach.
The firm saw a 2 percent rise after its bow-heavy public apology, but until the firm gets the PSN service back online and makes public the security plans it has put into place, stock could continue to drop or remain rather flat.
Over in the US, Sony stock was up $0.08 (+0.29 percent) at the close of business on May 6, and in Japan it was down by ¥54.00 (-2.33 percent).
Sony is scheduled to report full-year and Q4 earnings for 2010 on May 26. It is unlikely that the firm will announce to investors how much it has spent or lost during the PSN breach, as the firm itself may not have the actual numbers crunched at that point.
It may have a preliminary figure, but it looks more likely to be a number provided during its next financial period.