Sony tracks hackers as users vent rage

Subscription and download refunds under consideration as indie studios weather storm

Sony has vowed to "proceed aggressively" in its attempts to track down hackers responsible for the PlayStation Network security breach, although customer anger at the incursion is already beginning to mount.

Although the basic PSN service is free to use some users are already demanding refunds for PlayStation Plus, music and video service Qriocity, and downloadable games - many of which do not work without a connection to PSN.

As a result Sony has updated its FAQ on the incident, but has so far made no promises regarding compensation: "When the full services are restored and the length of the outage is known, we will assess the correct course of action."

As the FAQ points out some games, mainly downloadable PSN titles, require PSN access for Trophy syncs and security checks.

Speaking to website IGN indie developers Mad Block Alpha and Open Emotion have indicated that Sony has already offered to help overcome problems from the outage. Both studios were due to see new content added to PSN last week, with Open Emotion CEO Paddy Murphy commenting:

"Sony will be helping us retain key focus [prominent placement on the PSN Store] for an extra few weeks as they understand how something like this can affect a small dev studio like ours."

"As it's our first week in the US, I'm sure it will affect sales, but we have to understand that Sony wouldn't take down the entire PSN on a whim. As long as they can give us some marketing assistance when the PSN is back up, we are sure we will be able to recoup our potential losses," he added.

Ordinary users though have not been so understanding, with the official PlayStation websites now filed with angry and concerned comments.

"What makes Sony look so bad is the silent treatment you have been giving us from day one. Facts are you knew that your system was compromised, you did [not] say a thing about it till days later and even then didn't tell us you suspected personal information might have been compromised," said user 'Agriel'.

"Sony you dropped the ball big time on this, you should fire your PR department because they don't have a [DELETED] clue what they are doing, and totally screwed you in this," he continued.

"I loved this set up on PSN and now I'm so [DELETED] off with what has happened I shall never trust Sony again ever. Looks like I'm going to be getting a [DELETED]box," added user 'Sutman'.

Some customers have been more understanding though, with 'Carnivius_Prime' commenting: "I can understand the frustrations but if anything it should be the hacker getting all the blame here. Why these guys can't simply just leave things alone. I'm sure Microsoft and Nintendo would have reacted the same way as Sony if it had happened to their services. I hope the hackers are tracked down and jailed."

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Latest comments (23)

Charles Junglas11 years ago
hmmm...maybe you do get what you pay for with SECURITY....
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 11 years ago
Without knowing the attack vector used to gain entry its not easy to say that Charles.

Latley its been a case of high profile network braches with this being the biggest.
The 'hackers' a term I loosly use are finding users are getting smarter to the scams and are now going after new avenus of attack.

Microsoft is a big target huge, you think for a second that they are not going to be trying?
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Any service can be taken offline at any point should they desire too and should the need arise... just google xbox live outage, you'll fine some pages, even a page that says day 13!

Even with the best security, there is always a workaround, look at it this way:

Unless you have the mona lisa in your living room, you wont secure your house, when a burglar enters and steals everything, only then will you upgrade your security, this is the position Sony is in, altho 77mil credit card details might be the mona lisa for them, there is no proof what so ever that anything has been stolen as off yet except some details like your address and password, which can quickly be changed.

While I partially blame Sony, 90% of the blame should be directed to the hackers, who had no bussiness there in the first place, with or without security, yet no one seems to be angry at them...
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Show all comments (23)
Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology11 years ago
would be very interesting if anonymous supported sony by finding out who did it and fixing it...

now im kinda happy i dont have a PSN account...
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Charles Junglas11 years ago
The 13 days of xbox live outage, was due to server strain, of all the current xbox 360 users and all the new holiday users signing up trying to access xbox live at the same time. They did not anticipate as much demand as there was so they had insufficient server space. The outage had nothing to do with hacking...

Sonys PSN is much more open then xboxlive is. MS has much more control over the servers running their system then Sony has on theirs. Which is why yes, most deff. it is possible to hack would take a much greater effort then to hack the PS3...

As for the Hackers I hope they get tracked down and prosecuted to the full extent possible.

Of course MS is a big target MS is always is a huge target, but the fact is they have not been able to crack it yet...must tell you something about their security.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Charles Junglas on 27th April 2011 12:03pm

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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 11 years ago
Never say never, a complaicent server admin can make a mistake that allows a security breach to happen.

Without knowing how they gained access to the PSN in the first place we can only speculate and honestly its not going to do us any good.

The breach is bad and Sony will be paying the price a long time to come.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game11 years ago
@Joffrie. It's not that no one is angry with the hackers, but those hackers aren't the people PSN users trust eith credit card data. Sony may not have been able to prevent the attack, but they knew a week ago that their customers info may have been comprimised, and they let people know yesterday. If someone has the credit card info, a week is quite a bit of time to be running up debts.
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You're right, its huge mistake they made on their part, however they did clarify why tho
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Senar Koraltan Senior Producer 11 years ago
You would expect Sony to have the same kind of security measures/precautions as other major businesses that deal with consumer's sensitive data. For them to come out and say that they had to bolster their security means that they obviously didn't.

This is very disappointing as millions of people have been effected including myself.
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Razvan-Andrei Safta Lead Game Tester, Ubisoft Romania11 years ago
here is something that's floating around the internet:

The guy writing this is only speculating but he makes a solid argument.
Any PR student/practitioner would say that you cannot disclose the full content of a scandal that rises to this proportion. They are putting out info that they are comfortable with and will never reveal the full length of this issue.

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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D11 years ago
Also, it's hard to hold the hackers to account if they can't be found. That's important - for those who DO suffer losses (and there's bound to be a few), Sony has deeper pockets and is easier to find, to start with.
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Charles Dawkins11 years ago
Charles I'm in full aggreeance with you. It's all Sony's fault. They took away linux which started this whole problem. Then they attacked Geohot and hackers period. Hacker are going to hack so why piss them off the way Sony has. With the many Modded 360 out there it still does not stop Microsoft from being on top in retail month after month with their games. I'm glad I don't have a PSN account enther and yes you do get what you pay for.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 11 years ago
You know i got to say im angry at the hackers. If you dont like a service or product, simply dont use it or buy it. But dont prevent others who can enjoy it from enjoying it. If you wanna hack your console and install Linux then do it with your console, dont ruin everyone elses chance to enjoy the other features the PS3 brings.

This wont rub off well with people, but as far as Im concerned, SONY is the one creating the product. If they deem it best to add or take away a feature, I think its OK. If you dont like how they do this just dont buy a SONY product. And if you want to use Linux just dont upgrade the system software.

I can simpathize with SONY's concern over GeoHotz hacking. If it allows people to play pirated games then they have a right to worry. How they go about it is another story. But they have reason for concern.

I myself wish SONY's system had features it does not. Such as moving save files to other consoles and external storage to SAVE them, or have a way to store purchased games and installers on external media. My hard Disk is full and its annoying to have to micromange files , and erase stuff to have to download it again. It makes my expirience with PSN frustrating. But this does not mean im gonna make it my life to Destroy the Evil sony corporation...

The way i think, is if you dont like it, dont buy it, simple as that. Dont ruin the expirience for everyone else.

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.11 years ago
Rick, I think the problem is they already did buy it and then had it taken away. By no means do I suggest that it is a valid reason for hacking the company. But they do have a right to complain about it. Formally would be the best direction to take it. They simply had no way of knowing Sony would remove that feature and make those consumers decide upon which feature to keep - games or Linux. I'm certain had they known this choice was going to be happen down the road that they would have followed your advice and not purchased the product.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.11 years ago
I, nor any of us, really know the extent of everything. The one thing they've not handled well is in informing consumers of the possibly their credit card information was stolen. They should have done that instantly....not waited several days. And it appears the UK's ICO agrees with them as they'll be investigating Sony on the matter.
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James Poole Managing Director, Sarcastic Hedgehog Ltd11 years ago
Why would the passwords be stored on the server in any non-encrypted form? It's hardly rocket science.
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 11 years ago
Holtz messes with the PS3, Sony removes OtherOS.

Not the other way round.

Remember that Charles.
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Geohot hacked, sony defended by removing linux, it wasnt the other way round. Why do people still think sony started it?
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 11 years ago
@ Jimmy Webb... You make many valid statements consumers have a right to complain. Also most consumers that updated didnt know that the update would take away the Linux feature.

I guess my problem is people who are discontent about something, trying to ruin it for everybody else. And i also feel SONY has a right to add or take away features from their products. However I do think they should use better methods next time around, either by informing consumers or making a better user license agreement.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.11 years ago
Full agreed with you there. Both sides could have handled their involvement in the matters leading up to, during and after those issues took place.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game11 years ago
A better user agreement would do nothing, most people never read the things.
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Deanne Pierre-pacquette QA Tester, Warchest Ltd11 years ago
No offense but there are hackings on xbox's a hell of a lot more than PSN, perhaps not to this magnitude, but I hear about peoples accounts getting hacked more often than PS. Never the less, what happened to Sony was crap, but I'm not going to support them any less than I have been. People forget that we're not the only ones in the world that have been affected by this, and whoever hacked them must have been planning this for a while. People are too quick to change sides and move over to another console/company (Like Microsoft) because they've been inconvenienced, rather than looking at the situation from both sides of the coin.

Consumers have the right to complain and I agree with that whole heartedly, but it's not like this sort of thing happens all the time with Sony. I think it was just a very unfortunate incident, once this is all sorted out I know that people will continue like nothing happened (But be a little more cautious).
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Jan Almqvist Senior Artist, Playdead11 years ago
Damn I'm so tired of people defending retard hackers. I don't knoiw where to begin... whine, whine, whine... for f'ck sakes get a job and realise what it means to be a contributer to society rather than a f¨cking leech

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jan Almqvist on 27th April 2011 11:19pm

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