Commentary

PSN Outage: Who is to Blame?

  • by , April 28, 2011

Trouble Brewing

Last week, I found out that PSN was down. At first this didn't really worry me, as I figured that it was simply due to maintenance or some other bug fix. As the day went on and the gaming news sites that I frequented began to report news that foul play was at hands, it became apparent to me that this was more than a simple maintenance error to fix, PSN, an entire network was down with no indication as to when it would go up again.

The Problem Grows

As the week progressed, everyday was met with news that PSN was still not up and that everything that was related to it including Netflix and Hulu Plus was down as well. Sony remained tight lipped about the situation and soon rumors began to spread like wildfire across the internet. “It was hackers!” “It was 4chan!” A million different accusations from a million different people. It seemed like Sony needed to step in clear up the rumors soon.

Sony Finally Speaks

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Sony finally stepped up and announced a statement saying that PSN was down due to an outside intrusion, a statement that could have easily had many different meanings. Speculation continued to spread including rumors of an arrest being made on the people responsible for the attack, some services began to apologize for the lack of service and some services like Hulu offered to credit its customers for the time lost.

The Truth Comes Out

Six days after the initial attack, Sony announced that the person who hacked into the system not only did so through a developer back door, but was also able to obtain information on users of the PSN network. At this current time it is still unconfirmed whether information regarding credits card numbers and other personal information is at large.

Sony, still working to get the network up and running again and still not sure if more important information has been leaked, continues to remained tight lipped about the situation, releasing bits and pieces of information as needed and as cryptically as possible. Sony also faces a lawsuit for the downed service and potentially more lawsuits for neglecting to tell its consumers of a possible breach in their secure information.

Who is to Blame?

When something goes wrong we all look for someone to blame. A staggering number of people have directed their anger towards Sony for their poor security and their long delay to alert people that their information may be at stack. Another number of people are disappointed in the hacker(s) who may have perpetrated this crime. Is there anyone to blame in this manner? Who should we be mad at?

Both of them. The hacker or hackers was fully aware of breaching a network and maliciously manipulating it. Anyway you cut it, it is a crime to do so and they should face the full consequences of the law for this disruption, even more so if sensitive information was taken and identity theft resulted from it.

However, Sony is equally at fault for being negligent towards the consumer. It's not their fault for being attacked, and I'm certainly not blaming Sony for taking action to shut down the network and prevent further damage, its the fact that Sony waited as long as they did to reveal to the public that information might have been stolen. Even if they did find out at a later date, the consumer was not alerted until the next day, more than enough time to commit a malicious act with someone else's information.

The minute, that out information might even have the slightest chance of being in danger, we should be made aware. This isn't some free password account that you simply have to reset. This is someone's money, their credit score, and possibly their lives. Credit cards can lead to social security numbers and that is something that cannot simply be replaced or reset.

I hope the PSN goes up soon, I hope appropriate consequences are presented towards the ones who committed the crime. Most importantly of all, I hope Sony learns to keep its customers aware of what is going on, and realize that much more than people's gaming leisure is at stake.

Links: Information and the latest updates from the PSN attack

1 comment about "PSN Outage: Who is to Blame?".
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  1. laura.r, May 3, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.

    My boyfriend is a big video game buff so he explained to me what was going on with this. He thinks it is the hacker group Anonymous working with Geohot, who Sony took to court for I think some hacking he was doing. But Anonymous claims it wasn't them. I don't know enough about video games to give an opinion, but this is really interesting. It's amazing what power people have with technology and how even tough security isn't strong enough anymore.

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