UPDATE – Sony Responds: ‘PlayStation Network STILL Down’

In what has to be the most annoying news you will read all day, the PlayStation Network is still out of action with no sign of when it will be back up and running.  There have been reports from all over the Net that this was caused by an intruder, a hacker, piracy, and a million other reasons.

The only thing that matters to gamers right now is that they can’t get online to play their favorite games with their friends.  On top of that certain titles like Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 require players be signed into the PSN in order to play the game.  Needless to say, we’re starting to get emails from angry readers asking if we know what’s going on.  The truth is we don’t have a clue, and like you, we can’t finish a few games for review until we can get online and play.  It sucks no question about it.  We’ve been assured Sony is working around the clock in order to get the network back online, but it’s starting to sound like this may take much longer than anyone anticipated.  It’s amazing to think how often we all use this service, isn’t it?  Going without it for a few days has been annoying, more so for some than others, but regardless it’s really bad timing for this to happen what with Portal 2 out and all.

More info as it breaks, or once Sony lets us know what’s going on.

Update

SCEA has officially responded to the current situation affecting the PlayStation Network.  Needless to say, they had a lot to say about those who would try and steal people’s credit card information and otherwise hack the network.  Below you will find the full letter Sony asked us to pass along to you.

Valued PlayStation Network/Qriocity Customer:
We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. In response to this intrusion, we have:

  1. Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;
  2. Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and
  3. Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by re-building our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.

We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.

Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained.

For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well.

To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports or outsource this services to private firm, there are many out there like the North Shore Advisory for example. We are providing the following information for those who wish to consider it:

U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.

We have also provided names and contact information for the three major U.S. credit bureaus below. At no charge, U.S. residents can have these credit bureaus place a “fraud alert” on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. This service can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name. Note, however, that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, it also may delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report, please contact any one of the agencies listed below.

Experian: 888-397-3742; www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
Equifax: 800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
TransUnion: 800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

You may wish to visit the web site of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft or reach the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 or 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 for further information about how to protect yourself from identity theft. Your state Attorney General may also have advice on preventing identity theft, and you should report instances of known or suspected identity theft to law enforcement, your State Attorney General, and the FTC. For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; telephone (877) 566-7226; or www.ncdoj.gov. For Maryland residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; telephone: (888) 743-0023; or www.oag.state.md.us.

We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible. Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information. Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority. Please contact us at 1-800-345-7669 should you have any additional questions.

Sincerely,
Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment

I hate writing entries like this, but these things do happen and only go so far as to solidify the very nature of online networks.  Hopefully none of our readers have had any of their account information stolen.  The same goes for the staff and yours truly as well.  Only time will tell.  Sony has said they are doing everything in their power to restore the network before the end of the week, but considering this attack was able to penetrate all of their defences let’s give Sony all the time they need to restore the security and integrity of the PlayStation Network.  We’ll be waiting.

6 thoughts on “UPDATE – Sony Responds: ‘PlayStation Network STILL Down’”

    1. Good hearing from you Pat. Looks like we’ll be out of the PSN for a while man. Sony just issued a press release suggesting account and credit card numbers have been hacked. Someone is in serious crap over this, that’s for sure. I’m going to update the story with the official release they sent me.

  1. This is just sad for PSN users. While its a huge blunder that their infrastructure can easily be this hacked, I’m glad that they realized it early and they’re taking all the measures to prevent it from happening again. Over 1 week of no PSN definitely means that they’re building the whole thing from the ground-up.

    From what I understand, hackers were able to trick the system into thinking that their PS3s are developer-based….which means that they indeed had all the control to obtain information and download as much as they want off PSN without paying a thing. So the compromise was all because of piracy basically.

    It’s just really bad timing because this is one of the biggest weeks for PS3. A couple of cool PSN games were released. Let’s not forget Mortal Kombat and Portal 2, the latter of which touts a Steam integration, which nobody got to use.

    They really shouldn’t have made a big deal out of the whole Hotz incident last month and took him to court. Smart companies should approach these geniuses and offer them a job to make their system more secure.

    1. I see a ton of backlash against Sony on this. It’s understandable that gamers would instantly jump on the company for not securing their information and “failing” to contain the threat, but I feel more sympathetic to Sony and I think this was just beyond their control. Sony responded fast and put all of their efforts into investigating the issue, even utilizing a third-party security firm for a full forensic analysis.

      I’m more upset that this outside intruder/hacker/what-have-you did this, because that simply cannot be justified. This reminds me of arguments flaring up all over the Internet awhile back about jail-breaking the PS3, and the contention of whether or not “you really own your system.” From what I observe, only a very, very small portion of the hacker community would jail-break their PS3 for a legitimate purpose, and most everyone else did it to pirate games. So a hacker or group of hackers attacks the PSN, causing a massive outage and forces the rest of us to suffer because of it. *sigh*

      1. Welcome to the future Tim. I really think this is going to happen more and more as our consoles become online-only, etc. The sad truth is that no matter what you do, there’s almost always someone out there better, meaning this is unavoidable. It will happen again unfortunately.

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