Since Wednesday, the Sony PlayStation Network and official website are suffering from severe down time. The official blog first reported the outages two days ago. Although Sony has assured the gamer community they are hard at work to remedy the situation, things do not look promising.
Yesterday, Patrick Seybold, Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Social Media, alerted players via the Official PlayStation blog, “that it may be a full day or two before [Sony is] able to get the service completely back up and running”. Today, players trying to log in will still see a screen notifying them that the “PlayStation Network is currently undergoing maintenance”. The service maximizes the potential of the console letting players download games, TV shows, movies, and play games online.
Any server down time is a huge inconvenience for players. Although Sony is attempting to solve the problem, there is a possibility this is another DDoS attack similar to the one we reported two weeks ago. If so, this would make a quick fix rather unlikely. Approximately two weeks ago, Anon began Operation Payback. These were a series of organized attacks on Sony’s websites and services in protest against the legal action against George Hotz a.k.a GeoHot. His hack allowed users to jailbreak their consoles giving players access to custom firmware, homebrew applications, and even illegally downloaded games. Sony got very upset and attempted to shut down GeoHot, which sparked the Anon attacks. However, both parties reached a settlement on April 11th. Anonymous called off their army and services went back to normal.
Although these attacks strongly resemble the situation from two weeks ago, AnonOps—the individuals responsible for Operation Payback two weeks ago—has released the message above saying, “for once [they] didn’t do it”. This seems legitimate considering last weeks DDoS’s were a targeted protest in support of GeoHot and with the legal situation put to rest, AnonOps has little reason to strike again. However, this does not mean that other third-party groups might be attacking Sony for other reasons. Also, it is possible that Sony really is just suffering from some unfortunate downtime. Regardless of who or why the PSN is down, this gamer hopes things will get fixed as soon as possible.
UPDATE: In response to either the community’s growing frustration or recent discoveries, Seybold posted a new blog post revealing that “an external intrusion [has] affected [the] PlayStation Network and Qriocity services”. However, Sony has yet to reveal the actual culprits involved in the intrusion, but it is very unlikely that AnonOps are involved. After all, the group tends to enjoy taking credit for the companies they are able to topple. As previously mentioned, they have said they were not involved in this particular attack. Seybold has yet to reveal any concrete dates on when the PSN and its related features will be fully functioning, but Skatter Tech will be updating this page when news is made available.
UPDATE 2: Seybold has released another statement updating players on the status of the PSN and Qriocity services. He has promised that Sony is “working around the clock to bring [services] back online”. Unfortunately, the recent external intrusion along with AnonOps’ previous DDoS protest has prompted the PlayStation team to rebuild their system “to further strengthen [their] network infrastructure” and prevent future attacks. This means, however, that accessing online features may be down longer than previously announced. Check back for more updates as we hear them.