Game Corner: PSN – From Hurricanes To Hackers

Alright, alright, so technically the proper name for what happened in Japan is a tsunami, which was preceded by an earthquake, and it isn’t something to be lightly mentioned as if it wasn’t a big deal. The tragedy that struck Japan was just that, a tragedy, so forgive me, but I needed the alliteration to make the headline read well.

That being said, let’s move on to the meat of this article. So, for those of you that haven’t been on the internet (or at least at a gaming, business, or Sony-related site or blog) for the past few weeks, here’s what you’ve missed. A little while back, George Hotz, a.k.a. Geohot (the same kid who cracked the iPhone), cracked Sony’s little black Ferrari of a gaming console. Sony sued, some suits and actions went down in Europe shortly after, and then Anonymous, a.k.a. Anon, declared war on Sony.

PSN Error

Just to compartmentalize this EVEN further, Anonymous, in short, is a collective of, excuse me, “anonymous” hackers, not to be confused with, or any of its subsidiaries, which allows users to post anonymously within a forum like environment. Regardless, Anonymous has been upset in the past and targeted things such as Scientology and its followers and other such organizations. They also have pretty decent reasons to be angry, but Geohot + the Europeans that had pending suits with Sony settled shortly after Anonymous’ threats. Case closed, right? No.

To top it all off, someone, possibly Anonymous, possibly some totally unrelated, infiltrated Sony’s PSN network and made off with ~12,000 credit card numbers. The number is constantly changing, but it is not “millions and millions” as some internet dwellers have been claiming. Regardless, most of the numbers were for international cards and both Sony and the credit card companies haven’t seen any odd transactions. The issue is that none of this fits with Anonymous’ MO in the past, and Sony recently claimed to the U.S. House of Representatives that they found a file entitled “anonymous” on their servers that contained the text “We are Legion”.

So now PSN users are stuck with an indefinite wait time for the network to come back up, which is constantly seeing a different ETA on the PlayStation Blog. Even after the network is put back up, supposedly with beefed up security, the PSN Store will be down until the end of May, allegedly. Sony is, however, providing some incentives for their customer base to stick around.

Sony isn’t out of the woods just yet though. They now have two class action lawsuits, one filed in California and another filed in Canada, to deal with. Both suits are claiming over one billion dollars in reparations and both suits are claiming to cover thousands of members’ problems.

In lieu of all of the accusations, Anonymous posted this video. And the internet seems unsure of whether or not to believe either Anonymous or Sony.

For those that are interested in the contents of Sony’s letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, here is a Flickr post from Sony’s own Kazuo Hirai and here is a video of the hearing. And of course, when anything of this nature occurs, one of these videos ultimately gets posted. Also, included in said letter to the HoR, and also at the hearing, is some info about Sony having outdated protection on their servers and not a single Firewall application installed.

So… while we wait, what are your opinions? Was it Anonymous, and now they’re just trying to cover themselves from having to face any sort of legitimate responsibilities? Does Sony just not have a suspect so they placed blame on the first folks they could think of? Are you just as appalled by Sony, being an international mega-corporation, being so susceptible to such an attack? Am I dumb for having bought a PS3 on Tuesday when I can’t even access any of the PSN content at all?



  1. Jack Edward
    May 7, 2011

    Thanks for clearing up the number of credit cards breached.

    To answer your questions, I think it’s Sony pinning the blame on somebody else (because Anonymous initially hacked, then backed down). I am also appalled by Sony being so susceptible.

    Also, because of the susceptibility, I will not be reconnecting to the PSN until it is confirmed to be safe again (after, say, a week after going back up).

  2. Alessio Summerfield
    May 8, 2011

    Follow Up:

    Sony had pushed the reestablishment date for PSN back again, but now they have confirmed that they will allow PS3 owners to pick two free games from a list of five, and PSP owners to pick two free games from a list of four, whenever PSN is back up.

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