Sony has finally come forward with details on the ongoing Playstation Network (PSN) outage, stating in their official blog it’s cause is an “external intrusion on our system” that has affected PSN and their Qriocity services.
Sony turned off PSN itself in order to investigate the intrusion. The network has been down since April 20 and online gaming has been obsolete for Playstation users. The outages could still last a day or two.
Attention has drifted towards online activist group Anonymous Operations that launched DDoS attacks against Sony’s networks in early April in response to Sony’s legal actions against famed hacker George “GeoHot” Hotz. They ended their cyberattack operation, #opsony, after Sony let GeoHot off the hook.
Anonymous is denying any involvement in the current attack, and released a statement on April 22, titled “For Once We Didn’t Do It.”
Anonymous states that the attack may have been carried out by individual members of Anonymous, but the group as a whole “was not related to this incident and takes no responsiblity for it.”
They add, “A more likely explination is that Sony is taking advantage of Anonymous’ previous ill-will towards the company to distract users from the fact the outage is accutally an internal problem with the companies servers. TL:DR. Sony is incompetent.”
The nature of the attack isn’t in the style of Anonymous, actually. Anonymous typically uses DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks to overload a network and shut it down. The current attack Sony is under is an internal intrusion, and Sony shut down the network themselves in order to fix the problem. This means the current attack is likely cybercriminals going after user information, but it may also be some form of business espionage — in the cyberworld you may never know.
It should be noted, however, that the current attack against Sony aligns almost perfectly with the company taking new actions against German hacker Alexander Egorenkov, forcing him to remove most of his website. Egroenkov stated in his blog, “Sony forced us to remove everything or graf_chokolo will going to jail. We can only get the donation page up for the time being.”
Meanwhile, users are being warned to not give any personal data to Sony until the problem is fixed. The Hacker News posted a statement from Media Molecule warning “DO NOT enter ANY personal information (credit card information etc.) until the PSN website says its OK. Even once the PSN website says it’s OK, please wait at least 2 hours to make sure it’s a legitimate announcement. But for the moment, you should be patient and don’t worry about it.”