After a longer wait than was the case for users in the U.S., Asian gamers will finally be able to get back to the PlayStation Network.
Starting tomorrow, users in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Thailand, among other countries, will once again be able to gain access to the PlayStation Network and Sony's Qriocity services. Sony said that it "worked closely with respected outside security firms" to ensure the security of its services was better than it had been. It also implemented an "early-warning system" that will alert the company as quickly as possible to any signs a hacker might be trying to gain access to the network.
The PlayStation Network and Qriocity were hacked in April, prompting Sony to take those services down worldwide, as well as Sony Online Entertainment, which was also hacked. Sony said that the highly sophisticated attack stole the personal information of over 100 million users across its services, though it reassured users that credit card data was encrypted.
After protracted downtime, Sony brought the PSN and Qriocity back to users in the U.S. and Europe earlier this month.
Japan's government played a key role in ensuring that the PlayStation Network was not redeployed in the country hastily. Earlier this month, a government official told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview that Sony had not done enough at the time to ensure the safety and security of Japanese users.
"As of May 13, Sony was incomplete in exercising measures that they said they will do on the May 1 press conference," Kazushige Nobutani, Japan's director of media and content in the country's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry told Dow Jones. The official said that the government was blocking the launch of the PlayStation Network within its borders until Sony kept its end of the bargain.
Now that its services are coming back to Japan and other Asian countries, Sony said that it has established a hotline for users to contact it if they need guidance to "protect themselves against identity theft and fraud." The company said that it will also "bear the expenses to reissue new credit cards to those customers who request to replace their existing credit cards when it involves charges."
Those in the U.S. are getting a bit more from Sony. This week, the company launched a sign-up page allowing PlayStation Network users to enter a free, one-year identity-protection service, called AllClear ID Plus from security firm Debix. As part of that program, U.S. customers could be entitled to $1 million in identity-theft insurance if any trouble occurs due to the PlayStation Network breach.