PSN Outage: Day 5 – No End in Sight

We are now on day 5 of the PlayStation Network (PSN) outage. Reports are at least as grim as a few days ago, if not, worse. If Sony ever wanted to test the patience of their gamers, this was certainly one way of doing it.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The Easter long weekend is often a time of relaxation. Some people take the opportunity to spend time with their family and maybe eat a little chocolate. For others, it’s a golden opportunity to put some serious gaming time. If you’re a PSN player, though, you know all too well that was an impossibility thanks to an ongoing outage.

The outage began on the 20th and was confirmed on reports by the 21st that the network had experienced an outage.

By the 22nd, Sony said that the network would be back up and running in a “day or two”. This was amid a backdrop of complaints and growing frustration. Some users were even suggesting that Sony should reimburse gamers who lost valuable gaming time on the network. Sony could only give a vague explanation of the outage, saying that it was an “external intrusion” which, for some, doesn’t actually mean a whole lot.

It was also around this time that some were pointing the finger of blame on Anonymous who did express grievances toward the company over the treatment of GeoHot who uncovered the Sony root keys, compromising the Playstation 3 DRM. Anonymous responded quickly to the accusations saying, “For once we didn’t do it”. While saying that Sony was simply being incompetent, the Anonymous statement read:

Sony’s Playstation Network, its online service for Playstation 3 and its Playstation Portable consoles, suffered from a major outage today; which is on going as of this writting. According to Son’ys blog, the interruption in service may last into the long weekend – for at least another “full day or two”. Sony released a statement through its EU blog, saying that the network outage may be a result of “targeted behaviour by an outside party”, brining in the possibility of cyberattacks. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the message has since been removed.

While it could be the case that other Anons have acted by themselves AnonOps wa not related to this incident and takes no responsiblity for it. 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.

While it became common knowledge by the 23rd that Anonymous denied any responsibility of this outage, some still blame the hacking organization for the collapse of the network.

By the 24th, Sony said that the whole network was being rebuilt while they were trying to get the whole network back up and running. By this time, some were suggesting that this is a great demonstration of the pitfalls of cloud computing. If a server suddenly goes down, then everyone suffers, but if everything is local, the damage of a computer outage can be greatly minimized. As seen in the PSN outage, if the servers go down, then everyone with a PlayStation can suffer the consequences.

Now, here we are, day five and still no PSN. According to reports today, Sony is not giving out a timetable for when the network. It might be possible that they learned from their mistake from last time since the promise of a “day or two” has expired yesterday. Sony also suggested that people’s personal information like credit cards might also have been compromised throughout all of this – though this has yet to be confirmed. This might be an indicator that things are far worse than previously feared.

So, for almost a week, all we know is this about the PSN outage: the network has been out for five days straight, it was an “external intrusion” and people’s personal data that includes credit cards could have been compromised in all of this. It’s not a whole lot to go on after all of this time and it seems that there is no end in sight to when this problem might finally be resolved.

Have you been affected by the PSN outage? How much has it affected your gaming experience?

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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