Sony apologizes, will restore parts of the PlayStation Network

Sony executives apologized for the attack on the PlayStation Network that recently compromised the personal information of up to 77 million customers worldwide in Tokyo on Sunday and said portions of the network will be restored this week.

The press conference was the first time Sony executives have directly addressed the attack, which was discovered on April 19 and subsequently forced the firm to shut down the entire network, prompting outrage from gamers worldwide.

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“This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry. These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cybersecurity,” said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation.

"We take the security of our consumers’ information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data."

According to reports Hirai bowed deeply while apologizing for inconveniencing users. Sony has drawn fire from authorities across the globe over the breach and the delay of almost a week before the firm began notifying customers via email that their data may have been compromised. 

"We have learned lessons along the way about the valued relationship with our consumers, and to that end, we will be launching a customer appreciation program for registered consumers as a way of expressing our gratitude for their loyalty during this network downtime, as we work even harder to restore and regain their trust in us and our services," Hirai added.

Sony maintains user's credit card information was encrypted and there has been no evidence that it was stolen, but is still recommending users monitor their credit report closely for signs of identity theft. The firm said it is planning to help customers safeguard their identities but didn't provide details.

"While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, the company is committed to helping its customers protect their personal data and will provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs," said senior director of corporate communications Patrick Seybold.

"The implementation will be at a local level and further details will be made available shortly in each region."

Several lawmakers including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) have voice concern about the incident, with Blumenthal calling for an investigation by the Department of Justice and Bono Mack planning to hold a hearing on the breach next week.

Bono Mack has also said she will unveil a data-protection bill to prevent similar occurrences in the future, while Blumenthal has called for Sony to provide credit protection and identify theft services to affected consumers for up to two years.

Sony is offering users free access to paid content and premium services as part of its attempt to entice gamers to return to the network, which will be accessible for gaming, music and video services this week.