Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

PlayStation Network Hacked, Outage Continues Indefinitely

Caution: Here There Be Hackers.
Sony finally admitted today that a hacker had broken into their network, and had accessed personal data on the subscribers. That would be 70 million subscribers who now are wondering if their credit card data is being sold on the Russian black market, or in some other shadowy corner of the Internet.

Users were wondering why Sony didn't tell them until after a week of an outage that was only supposed to be a very short-term thing. Sony says they didn't know the information database had been compromised until yesterday. I guess when you've got a database that huge, looking in every corner could take a while.

Anyway, the outage will last for some unknown period of time... perhaps another week. Which is a big disappointment to Playstation owners hoping to do some multiplayer online gaming. Or for developers hoping to make some money selling games over PSN. Losing a couple of weeks of sales could be thousands of dollars lost.

I think it's good for Sony to take its time and make sure everything is totally secure, and I'm sure they're going to be reviewing their security and how this whole thing happened in the first place. I wouldn't want to be the person in charge of IT for this network... not a happy time for them and their team.

It does show the value in diversification... like developers having games on more than one platform so their cash flow doesn't go away for a couple of weeks when there's an outage. Or perhaps Sony may have more than one backup or layer of security in the future.

I bet Microsoft is going around checking the locks on Xbox Live this week to make sure they aren't the next target.

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