Sony's PlayStation Network Down

Published by: Kelly Curtis on 22nd Apr 2011 | View all blogs by Kelly Curtis
Sony PS Network.jpg
Sony's PlayStation Network Down

Gamers experienced a major outage on Sony's PlayStation Network Friday, when trying to log in with their PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles.  According to posts on Sony's blog, the outage is ongoing and could last well into the weekend, affecting the network's 70 million registered users, many of whom have taken to Twitter and social networking sites to voice their frustration over the interruption.

So far, Sony's game network has been down for more than a day, and the only message Sony has delivered to its gamers indicates the root of the problem is still unknown.  The lack of details revealed, and the stealth matter in which Sony has handled the issue, has fueled speculation that the outage may have been caused by cyber attacks, possibly from the infamous hacker consortium Anonymous.

The group of cyber criminals earlier this month launched an initiative it called “Operation: Sony”, using Denial of Service attacks to take down parts of the PlayStation Network.  The operation met staunch criticism from gamers and sparked heated debate among the group's members as it was the first time the group went after anything other than a company's main website, and because it had a direct impact on consumers, whose causes the group claims to champion.

Since then, Anonymous has called for a temporary “cease-fire” in regards to the PlayStation Network, and so far has kept its word.  The hacker group's issues with Sony stem from the company's lawsuit against George Hotz for allegedly jailbreaking the PS3 and posting videos of his hack as well as links to the third party software on YouTube.  That case has since been settled out of court.  Anonymous has not yet denied or taken credit for Friday's attack.

Tech insiders are speculating that the attack could have come from Anonymous members acting without the approval of others, leaving the group in a position of now wanting to claim responsibility.  Another theory making its way around the web is that the issue is an internal problem with Sony's servers, and it is taking advantage of its well-publicized dispute with Anonymous to distract attention.

Whatever the cause, Sony's image is sure to take a hit over the disruption.  The Network has experienced a series of outages over the last few weeks, causing serious concern among the Network's more serious gamers.  And the latest outage is lasting far longer than the previous ones.  Based on Sony's statements since the outage began, it's entirely possible that it doesn't even know what's causing the outage.

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