Games 15 May 2011 Praise be! The PlayStation Network is back online again After a three-week shutdown, I can once again play <em>Little Big Planet</em> the way nature intende Print HTML It's over. After three weeks without access to user-generated Little Big Planet levels, life is back to normal. Just before Easter, Sony detected a "external intrusion" on PlayStation's online network, PSN, which potentially meant its 77 million users were vulnerable to credit card fraud. It's taken until now to get the service back online again. Britain's access was restored about 6pm and other regions followed later. Japan is still not back online because the country's government is seeking more assurances about strengthened security. The big question that is still unanswered is this: was any credit or debit card information stolen in a usable form? Sony insists that its data was protected and there have been no reports of theft. And anyway, the company says it doesn't store the three-digit security code on the back of cards on its servers, instead taking this from users with every transaction. Another question is why it took Sony so long to confirm the attack. It happened on 17, 18 or 19 April and yet was only confirmed on 26 April. It blamed the hack on the Anonymous collective but Anonymous have denied responsibility. Sony says that it's vital for users to change their PSN passwords (and change their passwords generally if they use the same one on several sites) as soon as the service resumes in their area. They're hoping to calm the inevitable consumer agenda with a choice of free games and other goodies. In the US, the company is offering $1m identity theft insurance and a similar scheme is expected to be extended to Britain. As I type, I'm looking at an updated user agreement . . . I wonder if it there will be a clause in there saying I can't blame Sony if something similar happens again. Oh well, let's hope Sony is better at rebuilding network servers than I am at steering Sackboy around. › Rally Against Debt? It was more of a long queue Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics. From only £1 per week Subscribe More Related articles Video games will shape how we understand the world For emotional value, Emily is Away – a nostalgic instant messaging game – is this year’s best release It’s been 25 years since the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive were released – what’s changed?