PSN Outage: The Answers and the Outrage

When a major system feature, like the PSN, goes down for a week without explanation everyone fears the worst. Remember back a few years ago when the whole “system clock vs. daylight savings” debacle grounded PS3s for a few days? That seems like a fond memory in light of the current situation. The PSN was hacked and that could mean your personal info is on the loose.

The Sony has announced, via email, that between April 17th and 19th it discovered that there was an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into both PSN and Qriocity user account information. This was the reason why PSN and Qriocity were turned off. In response Sony brought in a security firm to assess what happened and enhance security to provide “greater protection of your personal information.”

However, a lot of damage had already been done. Based on Sony’s email they believe that the PSN intruder walked off with your: name, address, country, email address, birthdate, PSN/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. Additional profile information including profile data, purchasing history, and billing address may have also been compromised. While there is no indication that credit card information was accessed Sony “cannot rule out the possibility.”

So what can PSN users do? First, don’t answer any unauthorized emails, as Sony points out they will never ask you for personal identification information, such as credit card or social security numbers. In addition, they suggest vigilance in checking your financial statements and getting a credit check if you think any of your credit card accounts have been affected. Sony has not indicated when PSN will be back up and running, simply assuring users that “teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible.”

One of the most unique responses to the PSN outage has been by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal. As reported by 1up.com, Senator Blumenthal has sent a letter to SCEA president Jack Tretton, in which he scolds Sony for how long it took to inform customers of the external intrusion and its lack of definitive plans for future account information protection.

“Although the breach occurred nearly a week ago, Sony has not notified customers of the intrusion, or provided information that is vital to allowing individuals to protect themselves from identity theft, such as informing users whether their personal or financial information may have been compromised. Nor has Sony specified how it intends to protect these consumers,” writes Senator Blumenthal. Jack Tretton has yet to respond.

The PSN outage is hopefully winding down, but how will this effect consumer confidence in the PSN, Playstation brand, and Sony as a whole? The outage may have lasted days, but the loss of trust in our favorite game company may take years to mend.

Written by Justin Spielmann

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  • This is such a mess up from Sony. Here is hoping no one gets their info stolen.

  • Anonymous

    What email?

    • Sony sent an email to the email address associated with your PSN account.

      • Anonymous

        Haven’t seen one yet either.

      • Anonymous

        Nope. Never received one. Must be just for US accounts…I have a Canadian account. Hmmm…maybe only US services where compromised??

        • I have US, EU, JPN and Singapore account. Have not got a single email yet either.
          However I don’t care if anyone got my name or address… Most people have more information available on facebook than what was stolen here.. And CC info is rather unusable without an expire date and security code…

        • Anonymous

          don’t know cause i live in the us and haven’t got one. the only thing i got was something saying my account was moved to sony and i need to log in to verify that i agree to the new terms and service. Nothing about this issue.

      • yeah i got the email and i’m in the UK.

        • Anonymous

          Just got it.

  • Anonymous

    The possibility of Congress getting involved in this mess worries me more than anything else, if you can believe that.

    The PSN users in Connecticut must have been REALLY pissed.

  • This is really disappointing, to say the least. Just when PS3 was finally showing its dominance over XBOX this had to happen. I really hope for the best in the aftermath of this incident, i know i will remain loyal to Sony, but it is no mystery that other people will think differently.

  • Anonymous

    Finally received the email. Got my credit card reissued just in case. Not too thrilled it took them over 1 week to say “oh, your payment information may be compromised”. Bit of a slack job there.

  • Yes this is a mess but i think Sony are addressing it as best they can, it wouldn’t pay them to do anything else. No online system is 100 % safe be it banks, online stores or the bloody pentagon for christ sake, all Companies can do is make their systems as safe as possible and monitor and update them as often as possible. What this does highlight for most people is how lax we get with our personal details, i would never use my important detail log on password (i.e online bank, credit card) for the psn that is just asking for trouble, it seems some users have done this, and the lesson learned here is take heed for the future. I have contacted my credit card company and there has not been any problem with my account, and as of yet i have not heard of anyone having a problem regarding card fraud, so card details may not have been obtained.
    I hope that the law enforcement agencies get to the bottom of who has done this and prosecute them to within an inch of their lives, these kind of attacks need to be dealt with to deter future episodes.
    As for a US senator getting involved does this guy need publicity? i don’t know as i’m from the UK but it wouldn’t surprise me, then you have the law firm that are trying to sue Sony on behalf of it’s 70 – 75 million users (interestingly XBox only have 25-26 million) am i to take it that if said law firm win we can all expect a nice big cheque in the post? seeing as they are doing this on our behalf and out of the goodness of their precious hearts.
    I’m not a Sony fan boy, i bought what i felt was the best console for me and have not been dissapointed with my purchase (original fat still going strong, but it doesn’t wear a ring so thats probably why 😉 ) i will not be making any knee jerk actions like trading in for a X Box, as it will probably be their turn next to get hacked so hackers can mod their little Mii alike just how they want to.

    A bit long winded but i felt my thoughts might be appreciated on this site as it seems to have level headed users.

  • Anonymous

    ha. they try to bring the network back online and think it’s a good idea to let us monitor progress of the regional rollout on the blog. great idea. now the blog is broken too!