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Sony finalising revival of online shopping service

04 July 2011 - 15:34 by Simon Crisp

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Sony's digital download and online gaming service, PlayStation Network, is finally going to go live on a global scale after hackers brought it to its knees just over two months ago.

In April it emerged that close to 77 million people who used the PlayStation Network had become victims of data theft after cybercriminals broke into the service and took private information.

Thankfully, the initial rumours about credit card details being stolen was proven to be false, but there was no doubt that Sony's reputation for providing safe shopping online to an international audience was coming under attack.

The PlayStation Network was not the only Sony service to be impacted by hacks, with content streaming from Qriocity also targeted.

It took over a month for the PlayStation Store and PlayStation online functionality to be restored in the UK and Europe, but in Sony's native Japan there were further delays caused by the government insisting that Sony should prove its ability to provide safe shopping online and adequate data protection measures.

On Wednesday the PlayStation Store and affiliated services are thought to be destined for a full launch in the countries which have still been denied access ever since the hack occurred.

The direct cost to Sony caused by the attacks is currently measured at around £105 million, but of course the true extent of the damage may not be appreciated for some time.

Customers will need some serious convincing if they are to trust Sony with their precious private information and even if credit card details were not stolen on this occasion there will be some who are hesitant to part with their cash direct on the PlayStation Store.

The high profile nature of Sony's hack attack must surely alert other big companies that consumers really value security when it comes to online shopping.