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Sony eats humble pie, serves up apologies, compo

Embattled Sony executives have said they hope that some of the company's PlayStation Network will be back online this week, after being punctured by hackers who made off with the inside leg measurements of up to 77 million users.

But the outfit admitted it could be the end of the month before the whole network will be working again.

With a deep bow, Sony’s executive deputy president Kazuo Hirai told a press conference in Tokyo today: “I am deeply sorry for worrying, and inconveniencing, our users.”

He said a "criminal act" against the network "had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry. These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber security." Quite why he chose to drag an "entire industry" into it wasn't explained

Hirai said it took his company ages to figure out what had been going on with the network, which meant Sony had been slow to warn users that their personal details could have been compromised

"Inspecting and analysing a vast amount of data unfortunately took a lot of time,” Hirai confessed. "We wanted to make sure that the information we provided was accurate as possible."

Sony said users will have to change their account passwords before being able to log into the restored Network. Regular PSN users will get 30 days free membership to the PlayStation Plus service, which provides access to exclusive games and beta tests, by way of compensation for the loss of service. Those already subscribing to the PlayStation Plus service will get an additional 30 free days.

Despite the pants-round-the-ankles moment, "Sony continues to place utmost priority on its network strategy," Hirai said. "We intend to continue our global expansion," he proclaimed optimistically.