Updated Sat, May 07, 2011 by Martuk
Sony has had a rough month and things seem to be showing any signs of letting up any time soon. Following attacks on its Playstation Network and online PC gaming branch, Sony Online Entertainment, the personal details of now more than 100 million users could have been compromised. Sony is now facing two potential lawsuits and is being grilled by multiple government agencies and officials. A report from Gamasutra explains that state officials are also seeking answers. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has subpoenaed Sony as part of a consumer protection inquiry over the security breach and is seeking more details about the intrusion and Sony's "representations made to customers."
Anonymous denies involvement in the Sony heist.
The Playstation Network (PSN) is now working on its third week of downtime and SOE's library of games has been down since Monday. Some PSN services were expected to begin limited resumption of services this week, but according to a report from infosecurity, SOE and PSN services may possibly be down until the end of May. This is truly turning out to be one costly mistake and a PR nightmare for Sony.
As I was writing this story, we received a reply from Sony Sr. Public Relations Manager Taina Rodriguez, who had this to say about the earlier report.
In regard to the infosecurity report we have not stated a date. We have been working around the clock to restore operations as quickly as possible, and we expect to have some of our games and services up and running soon. However, we want to be very clear that we will only restore operations when we are confident that the network is secure.
Additionally, Taina informed us that Sony will be offering DC Universe Online players a new mask and 30 days free subscription plus one day free for each day of downtime as part of its "make good" plan. Plans for other titles will be announced at a later date. More Sony security news and details can be found here.
Sony's investigation has also turned up some interesting news. In a recent response to questions posed from the Congressional Subcommittee, Sony Chairman Kazuo Hirai stated that they (Sony) had discovered a file embedded in SOE servers titled "Anonymous" with the words "We are Legion" attached, a slogan often used by the hacktivist group. However, Anonymous denied involvement in the heist when it occurred last month after the group initiated a DoS attack against Sony. The group again reaffirmed that they were not involved in a press release yesterday in which the group explained, "we are trying to fight criminal activities by corporations and governments, not steal credit cards."
If Anonymous is involved in some way, it would be out of character for the group to deny responsibility given that they have in the past hacked websites from live broadcasts and proudly admit when they are involved. And as CNET's Elinor Mills points out, Anonymous is usually a bit longer than the discovered file and communications usually end with, "We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not Forgive. We do not Forget. Expect Us."
Regardless of who is responsible, players will be looking at the downtime screen for some time to come while keeping a careful watch over their personal information for any possible thefts.