It’s been almost 2 weeks since the PSN network came crashing down, and PS3 online gaming came to a screeching halt. By now, if you own a PS3 system, and spend a lot of your time online, the withdrawals of online gaming can be getting to you. Lets back track to see why this incident happened in the first place.
The first hint of what was to come, was when a hacker known as “GeoHot” managed to crack the root code for the PS3. This is a major problem, not only for the console maker (Sony), but, also developing companies that provide games for such consoles. GeoHot decides to make public the root key, with the intent of making that information public, but, not with the intent of “homebrewing“. Having such codes, gives a knowledgeable person, the ability to do with the console, whatever he or she desires, creating the ability to download pirated games, and modding the system in ways it was not intended to be used. Some fail to see that with a free network like PSN, that doesn’t charge a fee for online services, to really hit hard companies that make a living out of games. It is only fair that Sony goes after such threat, and seize control of such coding that they hold by law.
After Sony file their lawsuit against “GeoHot”, an organized group called “Anonymous” showed it’s teeth, threatening Sony to drop the charges against “GeoHot”or suffer the consequences. After such threats are made public to Sony, Anonymous decided to take action on PSN, and give us a fist hand look on what they are capable of doing by disrupting PSN for a few days in early April. This wasn’t so much as an attack to Sony but to all the gamers that use PSN to play their online games. Anonymous stoped their attacks once Sony dropped their charges and settled out of court.
It seemed all was done with until April 20, 2011 when the PSN was completely taken offline. It took Sony a few days to figure and let the public know why PSN was taken down. After calling in outside agencies including the FBI and homeland security, Sony makes a statement on April 26, 2011 saying that on April 16-19 there were a serious of intrusions on the PlayStation Network and that these intrusions where able to compromise information stored on their database. Sony has a userbase of over 77+ million users and over 10+ million of these users have credit card and personal information stored within PSN servers.
In the aftermath of this event, all Credit Card information was encrypted and without proper information this information is useless to such threats as identity theft, that still doesn’t make things safe. All other user information such as name, address and other basic information was not encrypted. The bottom line is that we all have to take the necessary precautions to make sure that your credit card and personal information is not being mysteriously used. When PSN resumes it’s services there will be a mandatory change to existing passwords on PSN accounts.
This whole ordeal is more complicated than we can comprehend. It might be months before we are all back to a safe and normal network, but all efforts are being made to bring these hackers to justice and to provide a safe online experience.
One thing that I want to point out and maybe even discuss. Many people ask and quickly get upset about is how could this all happen? This is a subject that is very hard to really answer but looking at the nature of the beast we should all know that no network is 100% safe. There is always someone out there that will do whatever it takes to bypass and gain access to such information. That is the truth of the matter. We should all expect to see a major improvement to the security on PSN but no matter, even the most sophisticated security protocols at some point will be breached without proper management and real-time monitoring. I really hope that things move forward and that we can get back to the more fun things that make online gaming fun.