Sony said Tuesday that it will be at least a few more days before it restores the PlayStation Network, which has been offline since it was targeted by by hackers last month.
"I know you all want to know exactly when the services will be restored," Sony spokesman Patrick Seybold said in a statement posted on the PlayStation blog.
"At this time, I can't give you an exact date, as it will likely be at least a few more days," Seybold said. "We're terribly sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work through this process."
The Internet vigilante group Anonymous meanwhile again denied carrying out the attack on Sony's online services, but said it could not rule out that some of its members were responsible.
"While it could be the case that other Anons have acted by themselves AnonOps was not related to this incident and it does not take responsibility for whatever has happened," Anonymous said in a YouTube message posted at anonops.blogspot.com.
"A more likely explanation is that Sony is taking advantage of Anonymous's previous ill-will towards the company to distract users from the fact that the outage is actually an internal problem with the company's servers," it said.
The loose-knit "hacktivist" group carried out 'distributed denial of service' attacks against Sony last month in retribution for its legal action against hackers who cracked PlayStation 3 (PS3) defenses to change console operating software.
In a typical DDoS attack, a large number of computers are commanded to simultaneously visit a website, overwhelming its servers, slowing service or knocking it offline completely.
Sony, in a letter to the US House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade last week, noted that the large-scale data theft came shortly after the PlayStation Network suffered the DDoS attacks from Anonymous.
"Whether those who participated in the denial of service attacks were conspirators or whether they were simply duped into providing cover for a very clever thief, we may never know," Sony said.
"In any case, those who participated in the denial of service attacks should understand that -- whether they knew it or not -- they were aiding in a well-planned, well-executed, large-scale theft that left not only Sony a victim, but also Sony's many customers around the world," it said.
The attack by hackers resulted in the theft of names, passwords, email addresses and possibly credit or debit card information from more than 100 million accounts on various Sony online platforms.
Sony shut down the PlayStation Network and its Qriocity music streaming service on April 20 to investigate the hack and secure the platforms from future attacks. The Japanese company later said its Sony Online Entertainment platform had also been targeted by hackers.
According to Sony, 77 million PlayStation and Qriocity accounts have been affected along with 25 million Sony Online Entertainment accounts, bringing the total to more than 100 million.
Sony chief executive Howard Stringer apologized last week to the millions of users of the company's hacked online networks.
The PlayStation Network system was launched in 2006 allowing PS3 console gamers to compete online, stream movies and access other services via the Internet.
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