Sunday, 24 April 2011

Sony confirms PlayStation network attack

Unfortunately for PlayStation Network and Qriocity services users, it looks like the widespread network outages will continue.
Since Sony’s PlayStation and music networks went down two days ago, there has been a fair amount of public speculation over the cause of the outage. (Largely due to Sony’s tight-lipped handling of public relations.) Many blamed vengeful gremlins loose in Sony’s server clusters and datacenters, while others immediately pointed the finger at Anonymous, the merry band of hackers that metastasized out of 4chan.
Thankfully, after 24+ hours of communication silence, Sony has updated its blog and ended the speculation. According to the electronics colossus, “an external intrusion” is responsible for the ongoing outages of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity. (It probably sounded like this at Sony headquarters. Or this.)
As to who these nefarious “intruders” are: It seems that Sony does not yet know who is responsible for the breach, or if it does, it is instead smartly spending its time sealing areas of vulnerability and trying to get the network back up and running. And though reports of PlayStation’s outage began heating up early Thursday morning, Sony reports that it in fact self-defensively shut down the Network sometime Wednesday evening.
According to the network’s blog, “An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. In order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward, we turned off PlayStation Network & Qriocity services on the evening of Wednesday, April 20th. Providing quality entertainment services to our customers and partners is our utmost priority. We are doing all we can to resolve this situation quickly, and we once again thank you for your patience. We will continue to update you promptly as we have additional information to share.”
So, when I said Sony has ended all speculation, I was really only half-correct. Sony is still not naming the party responsible for the breach, so the speculation will likely continue. (Can you hear the blogosphere cheering?) Anonymous has prior beef with Sony and has attacked the company before, so it’s not surprising many blamed them for the service disruption. (You can read more about Anon’s prior grievances with Sony in yesterday’s post.)


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