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Sony Details ''Welcome Back'' Gift for PSN Users

In a press release posted to the PlayStation blog in the early hours of Sunday morning, Sony revealed that it plans to phase in operation of PSN and Qriocity on a regional basis. The initial phase of the rollout will include the following services:

  • Restoration of Online game-play across PS3 and PSP systems
  • This includes titles requiring online verification and downloaded games
  • Access to Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3/PSP for existing subscribers
  • Access to account management and password reset
  • Access to download un-expired Movie Rentals on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
  • PlayStation Home
  • Friends List
  • Chat Functionality

Once PSN services are restored, users attempting to log in will be forced to change their password before they can log in. Note that your account password can only be changed on the same PS3 in which that account was activated, or through validated email confirmation.

Sony says the investigation into what happened and the people behind the attacks is ongoing. However, Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President at Sony, spoke at the weekend about the breach and how it had affected the industry as a whole.

"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 cyber-security," he said. "We take the security of our consumers’ information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data. In addition, the organization has worked around the clock to bring these services back online, and are doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks."

Sony also detailed a ‘Welcome Back Appreciation Program’ for its users. The thank you package will include 30 free days of PSN Plus for every user, selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download (content will differ depending on your region), and 30 free days of Music Unlimited for Qriocity users. Sony says users can also expect additional "Welcome Back" entertainment and service offerings over the coming weeks.

In an update posted this morning, Sony’s Patrick Seybold denied reports that the company was given the opportunity to purchase a list of credit card numbers allegedly stolen by hackers.

"One report indicated that a group tried to sell millions of credit card numbers back to Sony," said Seybold. "To my knowledge there is no truth to this report of a list, or that Sony was offered an opportunity to purchase the list."

Seybold also clarified that while the passwords were not encrypted, the company did employ the use of hashing and the passwords were not stored in cleartext.