Published: 16.01 Europe/London, May 15, 2011

Sony Network Entertainment International said on Sunday (May 15) that it would begin a phased restoration by region of PlayStationNetwork and Qriocity Services. The restoration will be on a country by country basis, beginning in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Middle East.

Restoration will also include playback rental video content, if within rental period, of PlayStation Network Video Delivery Service on PS3, PSP and MediaGo; the Music Unlimited service powered by Qriocity, for current subscribers, on PS3 and PC. For US users, access to third-party services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and

As the result of a criminal cyber attack on the company’s data-center located in San Diego, California, SNEI shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services on April 20, in order for the company to undergo an investigation and make enhancements to the overall security of the network infrastructure.

“Our main priority is the safety and security of our customers’ personal information,” said Kazuo Hirai, executive deputy president, Sony Corporation in a statement. “We are making consumer data protection a full-time, company-wide commitment, and have applied enhanced security technologies so that our customers can feel protected and confident about playing our games.”

“During the past 18 months, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in the volume of cyber attacks, their sophistication and their impact on businesses. Thwarting cyber-crime requires an evolutionary approach to security that is well-integrated, reduces risk exposure and improves efficiencies,” said Francis deSouza, SVP, Enterprise Security Group, Symantec. “Today’s cyber crime attacks are proving to be more covert, more targeted and better organized than those we’ve seen in years past. In working with Sony on the move of their data-center, it’s clear they’re implementing measures to reduce security risks moving forward.”

As an additional measure, Fumiaki Sakai, president of Sony Global Solutions Inc. (SGS), has been appointed acting chief information security officer of SNEI. In addition to his current role at SGS, Sakai, in his role at SNEI he will work to further reinforce overall information security across the company’s network infrastructure. Sakai will lead the recruiting effort in finding a new and permanent CISO for SNEI. As CISO, he will report to Tim Schaaff, president, SNEI, as well as to Shinji Hasejima, CIO, Sony Corporation.

“While we understand the importance of getting our services back online, we did not rush to do so at the expense of extensively and aggressively testing our enhanced security measures. Our consumers’ safety remains our number one priority,” Hirai continued. “We want to assure our customers that their personal information is being protected with some of the best security technologies available today, so that everyone can feel comfortable enjoying all that PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have to offer.”

The restoration of the services across the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Middle East are beginning now. Phased restoration in Japan and other Asian countries and regions will be announced in due course. The company expects to have the services fully restored by the end of May 2011.

The company will be offering customers a “Welcome Back” package of services and premium content to all registered PlayStation Network and Qriocity account services. The details of this program will be announced in each region shortly