Nearly two weeks after the PlayStation Network was compromised and taken down players still can’t play their online games and the rumours grow ever larger.
Just what do we know about what happened, and more important than that when will we be able to play online again?
Officially we know that pretty much every psn users details were stolen by a hacker who compromised Sonys security and Sony shut down psn as a result. While Sony believe no credit card details were stolen they have confirmed that it is possible they were and has assured customers that credit card data was properly encrypted, although it seems every other piece of information was not so well protected.
With users around the world getting angry with Sony and its handling of the situation Sony now faces official investigation and possible fines from the United Kingdom information commissioners office who are looking into the situation and where fines for allowing data to be breached are up to half a million pounds.
Not content with that the Canadian privacy commissioner is also investigating as is Taiwan and Sony could face a massive payout in fines should more countries follow suit.
Sony sources suggest psn will be back online within a week, my own personal guess would be somewhere around the second or third of May. If unofficial sources are to be believed expect a firmware update to be released at the same time as it is claimed that part of the reason Sony took the network down is because a hack allows certain Ps3 consoles to download any premium psn content without paying for it and that a firmware update will be released to rectify the situation.
So who did hack Sony?
The big name suspects are the hacking group Anonymous, and now legendary hacker GeoHotz. But Anonymous have no history of stealing personal data although they have hacked Sony before and openly threatened them. And GeoHotz has denied any involvement, although it is unlikely either are responsible.
The most likely scenario of what happened seems to be as follows….
A few days earlier Anonymous had threatened Sony, they may have hacked Sony in some small way similar to when they bought down Sony websites. At the same time the game Portal 2, which allows PC’s and PS3 consoles to connect with each other, was being prepared for.
Allowing pc’s and consoles to interact opens up the possibility for new hacking methods and security threats and some sources claim that security patches to address that situation bought down the network and that Sony decided to keep it offline while they try to write a firmware update that will correct their mistake.