Due to a cyber-attack on Sony’s online network in April, the company shut-down its PlayStation Network, Qriocity and Sony Online Entertainment services and launched a lengthy and exhaustive investigation on the matter. SOE in particular suffered from a hefty 24.6 million compromised accounts, which was not discovered until the PSN/Qriocity investigation was well underway. Sony Online Entertainment is known for developing and publishing MMO titles such as EverQuest and EverQuest II, Free Realms and Star Wars Galaxies. Sony has announced the phased restoration of all these services, as well as a customer appreciation program for its customers.
With regard to SOE, Sony states that it has worked with several respected security firms to improve the security measures and safeguards of its system. Aside from overall security enhancements, SOE will add more software monitoring, increase encryption levels, and will perform new vulnerability and penetration tests.
“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,” states Kazua Hirai, Executive Deputy President of Sony Corporation. “We are committed to delivering secure and entertaining games for players of all ages and thank each of our players for their patience and support during this difficult time.”
SOE is also offering a “Welcome Back” program, which includes special game content and services to all registered Station Account holders. In addition to 30 days of game time, SOE will also grant players one free day for every day that SOE’s services were down, for a total of 45 days of free game time. Station Access subscribers with accounts in good standing will receive 500 Station Cash. Lifetime subscribers of SOE will receive in-game currency rather than game time:
- Clone Wars Adventures™ – 7,500 Galactic Credits
- Free Realms® – 20,000 Coin
- DC Universe™ Online – 10 Marks of Distinction
Many of SOE’s titles are also offering a variety of special events and items to welcome players back. These vary by game, so check the table here to see which game is offering what.