Tuesday, April 26, 2011

PSP Go(ne), PSN down... what's a hacker to do?


For the past week, the Sony Playstation Network has been down. Initially, Sony refused to publicize the reasons for the outage but then did an about face a few days later by admitting that an unauthorized external party (aka, hacker) accessed their network and that they took it offline as a precaution thereby assuring their customers that no personal information was accessed.

...but the funny thing about precautions is that they usually work best when they're taken before a problem happens and are generally useless after the fact. Sony obvious brought the network offline as a damage control measure and then later admitted that someone did indeed access their customer's personal information. Namely, all of it (name, birthday, email address, billing address, etc.) up to, and possibly including, credit card numbers.

What few people are noticing is the suspicious timing between this attack and Sony's discontinuing of the PSP G0 last week. Two days after Sony announced the demise of their latest generation of handheld portables, the PSN is hacked. A day after that, Sony releases a clarification that the PSP Go will remain in production in North America. At the risk of oversimplification: Sony's network is hacked and they give the PSP Go a new lease on life in the US.

It seems pretty clear that the hacker in question is a PSPgo enthusiast. If Sony is serious about searching for the responsible parties, they should probably start their investigation with those six customers first.