Sony PlayStation Network restored in parts of Asia

TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. is fully restoring its PlayStation Network in the U.S., Europe and parts of Asia on Thursday after hackers stole customer data and sent services offline in April.

The Tokyo-based company said in a statement that services are set to resume in the U.S., Europe and Asia, excluding Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Customers will also be able to download music again on their PlayStation3 consoles and PCs through Sony’s Qriocity music service.

Sony shut down the network after a massive security breach that affected more than 100 million online accounts and embarrassed the tech giant.

Playstation 3

Pic: AP.

Sony said last week that credit card companies have not reported any rise in fraudulent credit card transactions as a result of the attack.

The network serves both the PlayStation video game machines and Sony’s Qriocity movie and music services. The system links gamers worldwide in live play, and also allows users to upgrade and download games and other content.

The company says it has added “considerable” security enhancements to protect customer data. It created a new “Chief Information Security Officer” position amid criticism that the company hadn’t been vigilant enough about online security.

The attack cost Sony 14 billion yen ($173 million), used to cover new identity theft insurance for customers, improvements to infrastructure, customer support and the investigation into the hacking.

Sony is also hoping to entice customers with a “Welcome Back” package of free game downloads and premium services.

The company began partially restoring the PlayStation Network in the U.S. and Europe on May 15, enabling online game play and account management.

Full restoration includes access to the PlayStation Store and in-game commerce, Sony said.

Sony did not specify a timeline for Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea, where local authorities continue to assess the company’s security measures.