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Sony to restore network services, boost security

Sony on Sunday said it would "shortly" begin restoring its PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services following a major security breach that compromised millions of users.

The Japanese entertainment and technology giant also announced new security steps while adding that it so far had no evidence that credit card data was stolen, but could not rule out the possibility.

"This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry," said Kazuo Hirai, Sony executive deputy president.

"These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber security. We take the security of our consumers' information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data."

Sony said it had worked with security firms and "implemented significant security measures to further detect unauthorised activity and provide consumers with greater protection of their personal information" and would create a new security officer position.

It said it would add automated monitoring to help defend against new attacks, offer enhanced levels of data protection and encryption and additional firewalls.

The electronics giant held an unusual Sunday news conference on the security breach, which was feared to have involved the theft of credit card details and which the company has said was carried out by hackers.

The PlayStation Network and Qriocity streaming music service were shut down on April 20 after what Sony described as an "external intrusion" and remain offline as the company upgrades security and works with US federal investigators.

The United States, Britain, Australia and Hong Kong are investigating the hacking and theft of personal data.

A US House of Representatives panel Friday sent a letter to Hirai with questions on the data breach.