Sony "rebuilding" PlayStation Network after attack

The outage has affected millions of gamers and is now in its fourth day

The outage of Sony's PlayStation Network and Qriocity service, now in its fourth day, looks set to continue after the company said on Sunday that it is "rebuilding" its system to better guard against attacks.

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Sony said on Saturday that the outage was caused by an "external intrusion" into the network, but has yet to detail the problem.

The PlayStation Network is used for PlayStation 3 online gaming and sales of software to consoles and the PlayStation Portable. The Qriocity service runs on the same network infrastructure and provides audio and video to Sony consumer electronics products.

The latest update, while not explaining the intrusion, pointed towards it being relatively sophisticated.

"Our efforts to resolve this matter involve rebuilding our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure," the company said in a statement. "Though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security."

Sony said it is "working around the clock to bring them both back online," but didn't say when they might return. Phone calls to the company's Tokyo headquarters went unanswered on Sunday.

"We thank you for your patience to date and ask for a little more while we move towards completion of this project," the statement said.

The outage has left PlayStation 3 owners unable to play online games. Networked gaming, in which gamers collaborate with others in real-time battles, challenges and quests, is very popular and typically enjoyed by millions, especially over the weekend.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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