The Playstation Network (PSN) has been down for nearly a week, rendering gamers unable to access online gameplay. Sony has only given vague details on the outage, saying they took it down following an “external intrusion” and they are “re-building our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure.” The system is now offline indefinitely.
There is a long list of suspects who could have pushed Sony over the edge, but there is a new card on the table that gives a much more reasonable idea of why PSN is down.
Apparently, a new CFW (custom firmware) was released on March 31 for the Playstation 3 known as Rebug. It basically turns a retail console into a pseudo-developer console.
Rebug was then altered by third-parties, giving users open access to Sony’s private developer PSN network. This led to “extreme piracy of PSN content,” explained a moderator of PSX-Scene.com on Reddit.
The moderator posted an update stating a user on the PSN developer network reported a note left by Sony. It stated, in summary, “only 3.60+ debug firmwares will be allowed on the dev network anymore. All earlier versions will be cut. If you want to retain your access you need to contact Sony and upgrade to 3.60 debug firmware.”
Again, this is just speculation, but it fits well into the extreme measures Sony has recently taken against piracy and jail breakers. It also fits with Sony’s vague explanation that this is in response to an “external intrusion.”
This isn’t ruling out Sony simply building new barricades against cyberattacks in response to Anonymous Operations, but strengthening network security wouldn’t warrant closing down the entire PSN — especially when users who can afford it are likely to just go and buy an Xbox.
Also, the only known cyberattacks against PSN in recent memory were those launched by Anonymous in #opsony. Anonymous stated in a new video, however, that they are not currently attacking PSN: “We realize that targeting the PSN is not a good idea. We have therefore temporarily suspended our action, until a method is found that will not severely impact Sony customers.”
Photo Credit:By A. Park of London [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.