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Other People's Misfortune

PlayStation Network PSN

Howard Stringer, the president of Sony USA, has posted an apology letter on Sony's website, and while the letter doesn't offer any more info on the attacks or Sony's response, it is an interesting read. We already know that Sony is offering PSN gamers compensation for their stolen data, as well as hugely beefing up security for free, but Stringer's letter is the emotional, personal response to the issue. Stringer apologizes to gamers, writing:

"As a company we — and I — apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack."

Stringer goes on to explain the amount of time that Sony took to notify consumers as to the security breach:

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Anonymous Denies Responsibility For PSN Outage

Anonymous, the hacker initiative, is fighting back by denying responsiblity for the PlayStation Network outage after Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai hinted the group may be behind the PSN's massive security breach. Hirai addressed the U.S. House Of Representatives on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing PSN hack and threat on American data theft.

In a letter that was released to the public, Hirai mentioned that a file had been planted in the PSN containing the words "We Are Legion" which is part of Anonymous' slogan. 

Anonymous previously released a statement saying "For Once We Didn't Do It" on April 22 after people started to suspect their involvment in the PSN outage. Now, they're once again denying they had anything to do with the PSN Outage. In a statement, Anonymous raises a handful of points:

  • Anonymous has never been known to engage in credit card theft
  • Many of the people Anonymous has worked against in the past has been known to have lied to the public about them. "There is no corporation in existence that will choose the truth when lies are more conveninent."
  • Anonymous allows reporters in to their operating channels to see their work.
  • Whoever did perform the credit card theft on the PSN did so contrary to Anonymous' beliefs and intentions.

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PlayStation Network PSN

This week is just getting worse for Sony. Yesterday, we learned of a one billion dollar (that's with a "B") lawsuit filed against the company, and this morning, Bloomberg is reporting that Sony is being subpoenaed by New York's attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

The subpoena is reportedly part of a consumer protection inquiry, so Schneiderman is looking for details on what Sony told customers about the security of their networks, according to Bloomberg's source.

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Ninja Warrior Japan Relief Auction -- Win Great Prizes Including A Visit With Sara Underwood

We here at G4 are deeply saddened by the Earthquake disasters in Japan, so to show our support we're holding an auction and donating all of the proceeds to the American Red Cross. Auction prizes include:

  •     Once in a lifetime opportunity to run the Ninja Warrior course at Mt. Midoriyama
  •     A framed Ninja Warrior T-shirt signed by three (3) Ninja Warrior All-Stars including Makoto Nagano
  •     Autographed Attack of the Show (AOTS) Kevin Pereira Japanese signs
  •     G4 Correspondent Sara Underwood to shoot The Feed for AOTS at winner’s home
  •     Kevin Pereira and Candace Bailey signed cell phones from the AOTS set
  •     Limited edition Attack of the Show and Ninja Warrior T-shirts
  •     WWE Fan Bundle inclusive of
    • Two tickets to a WWE event in your area
    • A full-size WWE Replica Championship belt signed by WWE Superstar John Cena.
    • An assortment of WWE Superstar John Cena Hats & T-shirts

To show your support you can bid for all of these amazing prizes up until May 12. Please join us in making a difference and as always be sure to check out the official rules and details before you participate.

PlayStation Network PSN

The fallout from the PSN hacking fiasco is bad, no doubt. No one likes identity theft and the potential of compromised credit card information, but many gamers are more concerned about their trophies and friends list. Last night, in the company's second FAQ about the PlayStation hacking, Sony assured users that you will be reunited with your friends list and trophies when the PSN returns. All the single-player trophies you've been earning during the PSN's downtime will be synced with your online profile when the network comes back up. Your Cloud saves will be fine too.

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The PSN Security Breach: Why We're Angry

The Rothken law firm has filed a federal class action lawsuit against Sony on behalf of "approximately 77 million" PlayStation Network users who are unable to access the PSN.

Calling the security breach the "largest compromise of Internet security and the greatest potential for credit card fraud to ever occur in United States history," the suit accuses Sony of "breach of warranty, negligent data security, violations of consumers’ rights of privacy, failure to protect those rights, and failure and on-going refusal to timely inform consumers of unauthorized third party access to their credit card account and other nonpublic and private financial information."

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Microsoft Xbox Live Team Comments On Sony PlayStation Network Security Breach

While Sony's PSN problems are the talk of the gaming world (and the rest of the world, for that matter), Microsoft's Xbox Live Network apparently had problems of its own last night. Scattered reports from the internet suggest that Microsoft unbanned a bunch of previously banned Live accounts, then banned them again several hours later.

According to commenters on hacker websites, some time last night, gamers with Xboxes that were forbidden due to "flashed" harddrives suddenly were allowed to play multiplayer games. Within a few hours, the consoles were banned once again.

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Late yesterday, Sony revealed some details on the difference in timing between the company learning that the PlayStation Network had been compromised and it informing consumers. A post on Sony's blog from Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media Patrick Seybold reads: "There’s a difference in timing between when we identified there was an intrusion and when we learned of consumers’ data being compromised."

According to the post, Sony learned there was an intrusion on April 19th, then shut the services down. Sony said, "We then brought in outside experts to help us learn how the intrusion occurred and to conduct an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident" because "it was necessary to conduct several days of forensic analysis, and it took our experts until yesterday to understand the scope of the breach."

So what do you think? Should Sony have revealed this information sooner, or did the company follow proper, sensible protocol?

playstation network psn logoThe PlayStation Network being down has lead to a ton of rumors and speculation, and one of the main targets of suspicion yesterday, before it was revealed that a security breach was behind the outage, were the creators of the PS3 firmware replacement program called Rebug.

Rebug is geared toward adding the functions of a PS3 devkit to a retail console without losing retail features. Many speculated on the internet that security breaches enabled by modifying Rebug could have resulted in the PlayStation Network being taken offline by Sony. 

In light of the real reasons for the Network being taken down, I asked the Rebug Team, creators of the software, whether the software could be used to steal users' credit card data or other personal info. "NO. NO. NO." They responded (via email). "Thanks to irresponsible media outlets and scene members a few different rumours have been started that have no truth."

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PS3 Security Questions

If you have a credit card attached to your Playstation Network (PSN) account, you could potentially be at a serious risk; we've found out that the unauthorized person who has possibly obtained your personal data also has access to a few security questions that are commonly asked by most banks to confirm your identity. Meaning, it's very possible that your identity may be stolen due to the ongoing Playstation Network issues.

Questions like "What's your mother's maiden name?" or "Where were you born?" are some of the security questions that are required for you to answer to confirm your identity when signing up for or signing in to a bank account, so if the hacker now has access to your credit card number, address, name, e-mail address, and birth date that you have to enter when creating your PSN account, then they could potentailly have access to your security question answers as well.

What this means is that you should absolutely not take this lightly because there's a definite possibility someone may try to steal your identity. If you have attached your credit card to your PSN account then read what Sony has said on what to do next if your account has been compromised and our guide on how to protect yourself from identity theft immediately. 

playstation network psn logoAccording to Sony's Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media, Patrick Seybold an "unauthorized person" has obtained PlayStation Network Users' personal information, including name, address, password, login. According to the company, it's possible that credit card data has been accessed as well. In other words, things just went from a inconvenience to a potential catastrophe for millions of PlayStation 3 users.

According to Sony:

"If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained."

Sony's full statement is under the cut.

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Sony Confirms Premium PSN Service, Details

As you're no doubt aware, the PlayStation Network has been down for nearly a week. Sony has said that the system is borked due to an "intrusion" and that repairing it is a time-consuming process, but has offered no time-frame on when it will return to life. In the absence of confirmed information on the cause of the network outage, we're left with theories and speculation. Below are a couple of the most popular theories floating around the internet:

Initial suspicion for the PSN outage fell on hacker group Anonymous. According to a source referenced by SixAxis, the PSN has fallen victim to an attack from Anonymous' "Low Orbit Ion Cannon." With its name taken from a weapon in Command and Conquer, LOiC  is similar to a Distributed Denial of Service attack, and was reportedly invented by Anonymous group members to use against the Church of Scientology.

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PlayStation NetworkAs I'm sure you're aware, the PlayStation Network is down, and has been since Wednesday night. Yesterday, Sony spokesman Satoshi Fukuoka told PC World that the company is conducting a "thorough investigation" into the problem, but that Sony has not determined whether or not customers' credit card numbers have been accessed by whomever intruded upon the PlayStation Network. As of this morning, we haven't heard of any reports of people's credit cards being accessed.

Sony did not reveal any more info on the matter, including any information on when the PlayStation Network will be back online, other than to issue a blanket statement from Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media Patrick Seybold, reading:

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UPDATE: Sony Confirms that PSN Users' Personal Information Was Obtained By An Unauthorized Party

Sony Is Using Its PlayStation Network To Build A New Online ServiceAs of this morning, the PlayStation Network is still not functioning. According to Sony, the PSN was taken down by the company due to an "external intrusion," in other words, you can't play your PlayStation 3 online because someone apparently either tried to, or was successful at, accessing the PlayStation Network unauthorized. There is no update on when we can expect the PSN to be back up.

Here's the official statement from Sony's senior director of corporate communications and social media, Patrick Seybold:

"An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. In order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward, we turned off PlayStation Network & Qriocity services on the evening of Wednesday, April 20th. Providing quality entertainment services to our customers and partners is our utmost priority. We are doing all we can to resolve this situation quickly, and we once again thank you for your patience. We will continue to update you promptly as we have additional information to share."

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PlayStation 3

The PlayStation 3’s motto is “It only does everything,” but since last night, when the entire PlayStation Network went offline for some as-yet-unknown reason, it might be more accurate to say "it only does some things." So which things can you still do with your PlayStation 3?

The PlayStation 3 Can Still…

  1. Access The Internet: Although the PlayStation Network is borked, your PS3 console should still be able to access the internet as if nothing is wrong.
  2. Play Single-Player Games: As far as I am aware, there are no single-player games that require a functioning PlayStation Network in order to work. You should still be able to play single-player games you downloaded in the the past as well.
  3. Play Local Multi-Player: This is the perfect opportunity to get a friend on your couch and re-experience the joy of couch co-op.

    Read More »

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