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PlayStation (Games) Security Sony Games

Sony Blames 'External Intrusion' For Lengthy PSN Outage 321

Posted by Soulskill
from the satisfaction-is-not-guaranteed dept.
Several readers have noted that outages on Sony's PlayStation Network have prevented online play for the past few days. The company has now blamed an 'external intrusion' for the trouble, saying they took down the network to "conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward." Some suspect an attack by Anonymous, who declared war on Sony earlier this month, but Anonymous has disavowed knowledge of such an attack. Meanwhile, others are asking whether Sony should compensate users for the inability to play PS3 multiplayer modes, and even single-player modes on a few downloadable games.
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Sony Blames 'External Intrusion' For Lengthy PSN Outage

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  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by headhot (137860) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @07:52PM (#35918056) Homepage

    PSN has been down since Tuesday night, blowing the launches of Portal 2 (plus steam) and Mortal Kombat 30. The system is not still down for forensic or investigational issues, its down because they haven't figured out how to bring it back up. They are losing too much money and credibility having it down so long. My guess is they are poring though back up tapes right now. Some one owned them good.

    Also, this didn't feel like a DDOS, with intermittent problem. PSN seems to have gone down hard. When Sony says "infiltrated," I think totally raped their systems.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @07:57PM (#35918078)

    This has been the best time that my 15 year old son and I have had since the PlayStation arrived in December. With the network dead, we went bicycling and bowling (his top score was 134); he showed me how to solve the last layer (well the OLL) of the Rubik's Cube.

    I deeply thank whoever did this, and I wish you only the best!
      -CS in Berkeley

  • by elucido (870205) * on Saturday April 23, 2011 @08:00PM (#35918092)

    A new kind of organization. I would say Anonymous is a cyber intelligence organization, not just a collection of jerks.

    If you don't take them seriously or look at them as a joke then you won't have a clue about whats coming next. Anonymous is going the direction WIkileaks went. This means they will build comprehensive intel files (dox) on Sony employees and on the employees of target corporations. This means they just use the internet, it does not mean Anonymous is strictly an internet organization.

    http://playstationlifestyle.net/2011/04/04/anonymous-gets-serious-attacks-sony-employees/ [playstationlifestyle.net]

    And it's a full fledged cyberwar with sides. You will have the commercial hackers who hack for corporations, and you'll have the hacktivists who hack for Anonymous. On top of this you'll also have informants for both groups. So if you side against Anonymous or against Sony, either or both sides will know about it. So at this time the best way to look at whats going on if you want to be smart about it is from a neutral stance. Don't diminish Anonymous unless you want to be targeted by Anonymous, and don't diminish Sony unless you want to be targeted by their hackers.

    Remember Anonymous is also trying to take on the Koch Bros. They aren't going to be able to do that overnight as the Koch Bros have an intel network of their own of greater sophistication and funding. What Anonymous lacks is funding, a lot of the hard detective like work requires hiring private investigators. This is something Anonymous probably wont be able to afford unless private investigators volunteer their services to their operations or are extorted in some way into doing it.

    But in the long term Anonymous is growing stronger at an exponential rate. Their only flaw at this moment in time is their relative inexperience and their silly tactics at times. They go from brilliant tactics at some points in time (such as hacking the email server at HBGaryFederal), to really dumb tactics like DDOSing Sony and taking down webpages. They don't seem to have strong leadership or a set methodology of objectives to pursue.

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @08:13PM (#35918162)

    It's not just the US/North American PSN that's down. It's Europe, Japan, and probably the rest as well.

    I doubt very much that an unsophisticated attack would be able to simultaneous take down or infect all three networks (to a point they are at least somewhat individual networks). I am inclined to believe Sony who has stated that they have taken the PSN down themselves. I would speculate that could mean there have either been security breaches with regard to PSN Store encryption or consumer credit card information or something along those lines. Not knowing how the various PSNs are linked or how similar they are to one another, I would wonder if some sort of worm might be at work, but doubt that would be the case in this instance.

    I highly doubt that Anonymous has anything to do with whatever Sony is investigating right now across all three major PSNs. And Amazon's services don't have anything to do with this either.

  • by elucido (870205) * on Saturday April 23, 2011 @08:28PM (#35918260)

    They hacked HBGaryFederal and they leaked gigs of emails. If they can do this then they are no longer an organization that can't do anything. They've done something.

  • Re:Right... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @08:45PM (#35918322)

    Looks like you'd enjoy Finland being in charge then. They ruled that removal of the OtherOS function was valued at around 100 euros ($145).

    Slashdot thread [slashdot.org]

    I am seriously considering getting out of the US while the getting is good. I have always thought that the smaller European countries would be more pleasant places to live. They definitely seem to have saner governments that at least occasionally try to represent the people instead of automatically bowing to the megacorps. To be brutally honest I think the people there wouldn't be as self-centered, loudmouthed, fat, immature, inconsiderate, and stupid as most (tho definitely not all) Americans are. In USA being full of yourself is considered a virtue and that's the source of half of its problems.

    You are partly confirming my idea that Finland wouldn't be a bad choice. Any idea what their immigration laws are like? Do you know if they would welcome an American who would like to naturalize and become Finnish?

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by powerlord (28156) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @09:39PM (#35918514) Journal

    If someone got root on Sony's update servers, you'd better believe those are staying offline.

    Then feel secure that those aren't the problem.

    I was playing a Demo recently and it informed me there was an update available. System downloaded the update and loaded it, even though PSN is still down and I still can't log in.

    I heard a rumor that they found people circumventing the checkout/purchase system in some way. If that is true, then they may be keeping the system down while they fix that.

    Two more plausible explanations:

    1) someone used the fact that PS3s internal key has been exposed to try to craft code to go after the Login/Pay servers through the PS3 directly, on the idea that Sony programmed those interfaces on the assumption that they are secure, and only produced well formed code, leaving a chink in the armor. If that IS the case, then Sony may have shut down the whole system rather than letting it sit open and exposed once they detected the intrusion, in an effort to head off data theft (while they rewrite the interface?).

    2) someone could have been performing a Denial of Service attack, again through internal PS3 calls which were expected to be well formed.

  • by powerlord (28156) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @09:41PM (#35918526) Journal

    Anonymous is not an Organization, anymore than the Internet is.

    They are Collectives. Controls are only followed when consensually agreed to with no real external enforcement. Damage is routed around, and there is no real Central Authority so much as a collective of groups/individuals who sometimes happen to be moving in the same direction when the mood takes them.

  • by Dachannien (617929) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @10:06PM (#35918642)

    A new kind of organization. I would say Anonymous is a cyber intelligence organization, not just a collection of jerks.

    There are a few people associating themselves with Anonymous who have the expertise to become a "cyber intelligence organization", and a few thousand who are jerks. The question is whether those few people have the resources to make it happen, and nobody can really be certain until they manage to pull off a coup of some sort (HBGary is chump change compared to what I'm talking about) without being busted by the FBI, Interpol, etc.

    But in the long term Anonymous is growing stronger at an exponential rate. Their only flaw at this moment in time is their relative inexperience and their silly tactics at times. They go from brilliant tactics at some points in time (such as hacking the email server at HBGaryFederal), to really dumb tactics like DDOSing Sony and taking down webpages.

    This actually proves my point. The masses didn't do the HBGary hack. That was one or a few people who actually know what they're doing. The only reason Anonymous gets the credit is because the people responsible allowed the credit to go that way. The Sony, Amazon, and MasterCard DDoS attacks were performed by the masses, and they've all created varying levels of embarrassment for Anonymous due to their lack of success or the pointlessness of their targets.

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