PlayStation Network

PlayStation Network Down

Here we go again.  If you were looking to play on the PSN, today will not be that day.  The Playstation blog has announced that they are running routine maintenance all day today so the service will be unavailable from 8am until 10pm PST.

PlayStation Network will be offline for routine scheduled maintenance on Thursday, November 17th from approximately 8am until 10pm PST.

During the maintenance, you will be unable to access the following services:

In addition, you will not be able to sign in to PlayStation Network from us.playstation.com. However, some users may be able to play online during the maintenance.

During this maintenance, you can continue to collect in-game Trophies and these will be updated on your profile once PlayStation Network is back up and running.

Stay tuned to the PlayStation Twitter feed for updates and a notice when maintenance has concluded.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Sony have not given any explanation as to why there will be “routine” maintenance on such short notice. Feel free to speculate as much as possible in the comments section below.

PSN Restoration = Looking Good

Kazuo Hirai – PSN Relaunch Announcement

Sony‘s PlayStation Network has finally started to come back online, Sony Corp. President and chief executive Kazuo Hirai announced Saturday evening. The mandatory PlayStation 3 system update (v3.61) is currently available. Once installed, many PSN services, including online game-play for PlayStation 3 and PSP, should soon be available for users in the Americas, Europe, Australia and New Zealand and the Middle East. Sony expects to have full, worldwide access restored by May 31.


Users in the US can check this map to see whether service has been restored to their state.

The PlayStation®3 system software version 3.61

New for 3.61: As a security measure, this system software update will require you to change your account password before you can again access PlayStation®Network *. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete this process.

* Applies to the master account and all sub-accounts.

Caution
When you change your password, an e-mail message may be sent to the e-mail address registered with PlayStation®Network (your sign-in ID). If you cannot receive messages at your registered e-mail address, you will not be able to change your password.
If you cannot receive messages at the e-mail address you have registered as your sign-in ID, before changing your password, make sure you have an e-mail address where you can receive messages and then contact PlayStation® Consumer Support.
Depending on your country/region of residence and the network environment you are using, you may not be able to change your PlayStation®Network account password or make use of PlayStation®Network services for some time after updating your PS3™ system software.
The ability to change PlayStation®Network account passwords and use PlayStation®Network services* will be made available in all regions within a few days.
* This does not include the use of PlayStation®Store.

Are we there yet?

It seems Sony is making a move to bring the PSN (PlayStation Network) online. In a recent post (link), we were all thanked for our patience during this outage and that service is being restored.   While this is not all happening at once it does give us a glimpse at the silver lining of this dark cloud which has disrupted all of our game play.

PlayStation Users may get freebies

It seems that Sony is set to compensate its PlayStation Network users with some free stuff.  The executive deputy president of Sony Corp, Kaz Hirai apologized for the problems yesterday by saying that they were hit with a “highly sophisticated attack by a skilled intruder”.

He said customers would receive compensation in the form of free downloadable content and a free subscription to the PlayStation Plus enhanced online premium service.

Sony says customers will receive a month’s free subscription to PlayStation Plus. Existing subscribers to PlayStation Plus and Qriocity will get an extra month of free service.

 

Also reported:

“This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry, said Mr Hirai, “These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber-security.

“We take the security of our consumers’ information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data.

“In addition, the organization has worked around the clock to bring these services back online, and are doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks.”

Valued PlayStation Network/Qriocity Customer

And there we have it.
The letter I have been waiting for, for those of you who did not get this.
Here you go:

===================================

PlayStation(R)Network

===================================

Valued PlayStation(R)Network/Qriocity Customer:

We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011,
certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account
information was compromised in connection with an illegal and
unauthorized intrusion into our network. In response to this
intrusion, we have:

1) Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;

2) Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full
and complete investigation into what happened; and

3) Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our
network infrastructure by rebuilding our system to provide you
with greater protection of your personal information.

We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill
as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and
efficiently as practicable.

Although we are still investigating the details of this incident,
we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following
information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country,
email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login,
and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data,
including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip),
and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may
have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your
dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have
been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit
card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have
provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity,
out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit
card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have
been obtained.

For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email,
telephone and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive
information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email,
asking for your credit card number, social security number or other
personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information,
you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation
Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that
you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation
Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or
accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them as well.

To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we
encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and
to monitor your credit reports. We are providing the following information
for those who wish to consider it:
– U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually
from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report,
visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.

- We have also provided names and contact information for the three major U.S.
credit bureaus below. At no charge, U.S. residents can have these credit bureaus
place a “fraud alert” on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps
to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. This service can
make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name. Note, however,
that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you,
it also may delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your
identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others
are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. Should you wish to place a
fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report,
please contact any one of the agencies listed below:

Experian: 888-397-3742; www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
Equifax: 800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
TransUnion: 800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division,
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

- You may wish to visit the website of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at
www.consumer.gov/idtheft or reach the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 or 600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 for further information about how to protect
yourself from identity theft. Your state Attorney General may also have advice
on preventing identity theft, and you should report instances of known or
suspected identity theft to law enforcement, your State Attorney General,
and the FTC. For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be
contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; telephone
(877) 566-7226; or www.ncdoj.gov. For Maryland residents, the Attorney
General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202;
telephone: (888) 743-0023; or www.oag.state.md.us.

We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this
incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the
clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible. Sony takes
information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that
additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information.
Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is
our utmost priority. Please contact us at 1-800-345-7669 should you have any
additional questions.

Sincerely,

Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment

 

Sony to make good on PSN Outage

It seems in the wake of all that has happened Sony is attempting to make some form of restitution to its users for the downtime.   As you know many of us PlayStation Users have been affected by this outage.  Even I have ranted on about leaving my PS3 to the wolves and jumping ship.   Well there may be some light shining thought all this darkness after all.  In a statement made yesterday:

“We apologize for any inconvenience players may have experienced as a result of the recent service interruption. As a global leader in online gaming, SOE is committed to delivering stable and entertaining games for players of all ages. To thank players for their patience, we will be hosting special events this weekend across our game portfolio, including a Double Station Cash day on Saturday, April 30th. We are also working on a “make good” plan for players of the PS3 versions of DC Universe Online and Free Realms. Details will be available soon on the individual game websites and forums.”

While this may hold some of us over, I myself still want my PlayStation Network back online.

Sony Sued Over PlayStation Network Breach

You knew it would come to this.  Please read the following post.  I found it to be very interesting:

 

The Sony PlayStation Network outage has prompted questions about data security and a congressional inquiry, and now you can add class-action lawsuit to the list.

A California-based firm has filed suit against Sony, accusing the company of failing to adequately protect, encrypt, and secure its customer data. The suit seeks damages for the data loss and PlayStation Network downtime.

“We bought this lawsuit on behalf of consumers to learn the full extent of Sony PlayStation Network data security practices and the data loss and to seek a remedy for consumers,” Ira P. Rothken, an attorney who filed the complaint, said in a statement. “We are hopeful that Sony will take this opportunity to learn from the network vulnerabilities, provide a remedy to consumers who entrusted their sensitive data to Sony, and lead the way in data security best practices going forward.”

Sony’s PlayStation network has been having issues since last Wednesday, but it was not until last night that Sony confirmed that hackers had obtained personal information from the network, which possibly included credit cards. Sony said it expects to “restore some services” within a week, but did not elaborate.

“Sony’s breach of its customers’ trust is staggering,” co-counsel J.R. Parker said. “One would think that a large multinational corporation like Sony has strong protective measures in place to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of personal information, including credit card information. Apparently, Sony doesn’t.”

The suit was filed on behalf of Alabama resident Kristopher Jones, who has been a PlayStation user since 2009.

The lawsuit claims that Sony was aware of vulnerabilities with its system for some time, but does not provide details.

“[Sony] has been aware for a substantial period of time that PSN was prone to catastrophic loss of data from a security breach,” according ot the filing. “Nevertheless, [Sony] failed to warn its customers of the problem or tried to prevent them from suffering system suspension from security breaches and data loss.”

“Sony sat silently while consumers purchased defective PlayStation consoles and PSN service without warning customers about the risks inherent in purchasing and relying upon Sony’s data security,” the suit continued.

In a Tuesday blog post, Patrick Seybold, senior director of corporate communications and social media at Sony, insisted that “there’s a difference in timing between when we identified there was an intrusion and when we learned of consumers’ data being compromised.”

Sony learned of the intrusion on April 19 and subsequently shut down its services. It then brought in outside experts to assess the damage, which took some time, he said.

“It was necessary to conduct several days of forensic analysis, and it took our experts until yesterday to understand the scope of the breach,” Seybold wrote. “We then shared that information with our consumers and announced it publicly this afternoon.”

In a Thursday blog post, Sophos security consultant Carole Theriault called on Sony “to stand up and explain how the company screwed up, how the bad guys got into their system, why the data wasn’t properly stored: a clear and concise explanation and, where appropriate, a straight-up apology for their oversights/misplaced bets/mistakes/etc.”

Late yesterday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, wrote to Sony president Jack Tretton, expressing concern about Sony’s reaction time and asking that Sony provide them with access to financial data security services.

 

Source: Chloe Albanesius / PCMag.com

Speculation, Suspicion, and Seriousness

Was it hackers, hackers, oh it was hacker or a bad mistake on Sony’s part?  The question remains unanswered.

Sony has done a wonderful job of using carefully crafted wordplay when addressing the questions we have about the PlayStation Network incident.  While lost in the thick of things we are nowhere closer to knowing the reasons for the outage.

We are unaware if our account details and info has been compromised.  The one thing I know is that all of this a really something to be concerned about.  I myself will be contacting my bank to have my card number changed.  I am sure I do not stand alone in attempting to be safe rather than one day sorry.

So not only are us the users of the PlayStation Network affected by this, but now bank’s need to rev up for the massive influx of customers requesting new accounts…

Going forward, I can say Sony has lost my trust in its service.