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IDG News Service - This is a timeline of major events associated with the attack on Sony's PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services.
Dates are given relative to announcements from Sony Computer Entertainment's headquarters in Tokyo. Dates corresponding to announcements from Sony's U.S. unit are provided in parenthesis.
Tuesday, April 19
Sony learned its PlayStation Network and Qriocity networks had been compromised and commenced an internal investigation. At the time, the company did not announce this. It was subsequently disclosed in a statement issued by the company's U.S. subsidiary on April 26.
Wednesday, April 20
When it discovered an intrusion, Sony took its first public step by closing down the two networks, but it didn't disclose what it already knew: the networks had been hacked between April 17 and 19. It issued a statement that said, "We're aware certain functions of PlayStation Network are down. We will report back here as soon as we can with more information."
Sony called in an outside computer security company to begin an investigation.
Thursday, April 21
The company said it was still investigating the cause of the outage and that it would be "a full day or two" before everything was back to normal.
A posting on Sony Europe's PlayStation blog suggested the networks had been attacked. The posting was later removed, but numerous gaming news outlets reported it as saying, "Our support teams are investigating the cause of the problem, including the possibility of targeted behavior by an outside party."
Friday, April 22
Sony revealed for the first time the cause of the problems. "An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. In order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward, we turned off PlayStation Network & Qriocity services,"it said in a statement. It offered no details on when services might return to normal.
Hacking group "Anonymous" said in a statement that its core had nothing to do with the attack, but the message left open the possibility that individuals from the group might be responsible. "While it could be the case that other Anons have acted by themselves AnonOps was not related to this incident and takes no responsibility for it," the statement said. It accused Sony of taking advantage of previous attacks on its network to explain an internal problem with company servers.
(Read more: PlayStation Network Enters Third Day of Outage)
Saturday, April 23
Sony said it was having to rebuild its network as a result of the attack. "Our efforts to resolve this matter involve rebuilding our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure," it said. "Though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security."
The company said it was "working around the clock to bring them both back online," but didn't say when they might return. "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.