PlayStation Network hacked: five days and counting..

Filed Under: Data loss, Vulnerability

The Sony PlayStation Network, used by millions of online video game players around the world, has been offline since Wednesday 20th April.

PlayStation Network maintenance message

You can still play games offline, but if you want to connect your PlayStation to play online games, stream movies, or go shopping you're out of luck.

According to Sony, who have been updating their blog with developments regarding the outage, the company decided to bring the network down after an "external intrusion".

Sony blog post

The company clearly isn't planning to bring the network back until it is confident that its infrastructure is secure - and although inconvenienced, game players should be grateful that Sony appears to want to make sure it's done the job properly and that any vulnerabilities are fixed.

PlayStationPrecisely how much longer those game players will have to wait, and whether their trigger-happy fingers and patience will be able to bear it, remains to be seen.

Patrick Seybold, Sony's Senior Director of Corporate Communications, says:

"Our efforts to resolve this matter involve re-building our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure. Though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security.."

"Unfortunately, I don’t have an update or timeframe to share at this point in time. As we previously noted, this is a time intensive process and we’re working to get them back online quickly."

Although Sony is doing a good job on its blog of reassuring players that they are working on securing and bringing back the network, they do not seem to have addressed the issue of whether any personal information (such as credit card details) might have been compromised by whoever attacked the PlayStation network.

The spectre of data loss is a worrying one - let's hope that nothing so sensitive has been lost, and that Sony will be able to share good news that may reassure its customers soon.

Update: Bad news - it appears that personal information has been stolen from the Sony PlayStation Network's users.

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34 Responses to PlayStation Network hacked: five days and counting..

  1. joan · 1632 days ago

    plystation network you guy's already lost thousands of players you better put the connection back up or you wont get any money

  2. billy · 1632 days ago

    ha shoulda bought an xbox

    • Darth_Jader · 1632 days ago

      Have one, subscribed to XBL for the first year that I had it (4 years ago), decided it was nothing more than a price gouge, haven't had XBL since, and I don't miss it, give me PSN any day, I can play all Xbox games offline and be just as happy.

      Sony's customer support is TERRIBLE, much like Microsoft's (Nintendo's is the ONLY customer service that has been at all good, fortunately the best game franchise of the decade is exclusive to Wii....too bad most of the other Wii games suck), but other than their (almost non-existent) customer service, PS3 is generally superior to x360.

    • vipers · 1632 days ago

      yeah so we can pay for everything thats free on psn, its not the end of the world it will be back and hopefully fixed

  3. Warthog_PSN · 1632 days ago

    Instead of posting complaints about the PSN being down like most people, I thought I would post some useful info.

    ** Yes Netflix Works - and in fact I have been using it throughout most of the time that the PSN has been down. I first figured out how to use it on Saturday morning, but it may have been accessible the whole time.

    When you launch Netflix, within a few seconds you are prompted to sign in to the Playstation network. you have to press X and let it attempt to connect. After it fails to connect, press the O to go back. You will see the Neflix landing page in the background and it may ask you to try and connect again. Click X to let it try and when it fails, again hit the O to go back. This will leave you with the normal Neflix landing page and it works just as it always has.

    I have watched many movies since Saturday, and tested it again just now before submitting this post.


    • Jon · 1631 days ago

      That's cause netflix is only obtained through the psn, the actual movies are streamed via your internet. Notice how you dont even have to have a logon in order to use netflix.

  4. Lloyd_machinima · 1632 days ago

    I play for machinima so im good, i have 2 ps3 and 3 xbox's loool so i dont care bout playstation network :L my xbox live runs out in 2019 lool

    • Mich · 1632 days ago

      Something about the way you type makes me want to strangle you slowly....

  5. Ivan · 1632 days ago

    PSN is free, so little money, if any, lost there. Sucks, although those who caused this are asshats too.

    • Big Bertha · 1631 days ago

      according to recent IBM hackers that are working with Sony on getting the PSN back up, the average amount of money lost per day totals up to about 15 million. so multiply that by six now.. and do the math. alot of money has been lost and Sony will most certainly be pressing charges when this disaster comes to an end.

  6. Mike · 1632 days ago

    As far as "streaming movies" goes, Netflix is still functional on the PS3. One merely needs to keep hitting "Log On" until the Netflix Menu comes up. As far as the Playstation Network being down, I want Sony to take their time and get the Network protected the right way. Unlike Xbox, we don't have to pay to play online so I am more than happy to play solo, watch BluRays and/or Netflix until the Network is fixed.

  7. Roadboy98 · 1632 days ago

    i heard playstation network will be up for tuesday morning hopefully cross your fingers guyes.

  8. BK201 · 1632 days ago

    Psn hacked wow thats really sad... Wtf happened Playstation???

  9. ps3_player · 1632 days ago

    should have gotten a 360!

  10. ps3hoe · 1631 days ago

    Well said mike. Also for the people saying shoulda bought the xbox to play online etc not everyone in the world is rich and game consoles are mainly played by teenagers who most wont have jobs to pay to play xbox online so i love how playstation online is free to everyone also i never know when im going to play the ps3 as i have a busy demanding job so i rather not pay to play as in life its unpredictable and i rather not oay for something i hardly use.

    I miss the psn but im willing to wait also

  11. Lisa · 1631 days ago

    Thanks to the big wigs for keeping us safe by doing the necessary time intensive task and risking the disappointment to its customers; I appreciate being able to trust in a company to do the responsible thing rather than the money hungry thing.

  12. mid30'sdickhead · 1631 days ago

    "game players should be grateful that Sony appears to want to make sure it's done the job properly and that any vulnerabilities are fixed."

    Like hell! Time is money and I rarely get to play video games. When I do, I expect to have an operational network and operating system. I worked double time on Easter and all I wanted to do was veg out and play some Socom and Red Dead before the wife and kids got home. I don't have time for a system that fails. What a great time to fail.

    Sony, if anybody, should be grateful for the customers they have left after failing to protect the identities of it's premium content subscribers.

    I expect Sony to keep their ass in gear and make good stuff of I can find stuff that works better.

    • djhero · 1631 days ago

      Give playstation time to fix the network. We al should hang on because in the end it will be worth the wait...

  13. Liam · 1631 days ago

    Im sorry but all those that are blasting on the xbox for having to play online are narrow minded, you are just having a fanboy moment.

    Why do you think that the PSN was able to be hacked in the first place? Because it is is free therefore Sony created the online network put it live and walah!

    Has the xbox network ever been down for this long? No and the reason for that is because it is a paid for service therefore it is constantly maintained witht he money that is received through monthly or yearly subscriptions.

    Dont for one minute think that paying for an online service is a bad thing, LIVE is and always will be dpendable to play online with, the service in my opion is awsome, and for that reason i dont mind paying the price of a single game to play for the year, more pro's than con's im afraid.

    Its great that PSN is free well done Sony, but dont hate on a paid for service that is maintained through revenue when you have a free service that has since decalred itself unreliable, at least until Sony finally fix it.

    **Rant over**

    • Peter · 1631 days ago

      I play the xbox more than the ps3, But you need to read up on your statement Liam. The xbox gets hacked everyday, I read on forums on how peoples live accounts are being stolen and used for others to play online for free. Reason not everyone knows is cause xbox dont say nowt and leaves it running. With xbox accounts they get hacked and the ones doing it use any microsoft points you have and download stuff then they put it on disc and install it onto accounts for others or upload them to torrent sites. I've read about few people having it done on forums ect. So my point is PSN is safer than Live. With PSN you can not download content and then move it to another account where as Live you can.

    • Vince · 1631 days ago

      FREE IS BETTER! Ask any hard working person in this economy. And if PSN can be hacked so can XBOX sooner or later! Now **Rant Over**

  14. Melman · 1631 days ago

    hurry up and put it back up!! this is bloody ridiculous!! get your cr*p together and do something!! i am seriously considering going to get an xbox :I

  15. lmao@psn · 1631 days ago

    the debate here is not which is a better machine or network.

    but the simple facts... you dont pay for the service therefore you should expect it to be basic.

    i wont fault the psn as mentioned above not everyone has money to pay to play.. but those that do have the money should really consider doing so for the much better quality and experience. .

    i got rid of my ps3 in exchange for the 360 and its such a small price to pay for a much better quality gaming experience

  16. Brian · 1631 days ago

    Xbox was down for over a week a couple years back during xmas week.

    It's a free service...stop whining!

  17. Richy · 1631 days ago

    Keep the Playstation Network down perleeez ... I actually got some nookie with the missus last night as she couldn't play Call of Duty all hours as usual.


    Happy Larry

  18. S.J · 1631 days ago

    I don't understand why everyone is whinging about this, yes the network is down and yes I understand it can be frustrating when you get limited time to play and your not able to do what you want when you can. But you know what, I'd rather it be down for months in order to protect its users than be put up because people couldn't have the patience to wait for it to be fixed correctly. Surely the fact that they want to cover all the bases shows that Sony has its customers best interests at heart. As for the, go get a 360 as this never happens,

  19. S.J · 1631 days ago

    I had a 360 and my 360 account got hacked, the response when I reported it was pretty much an 'we couldn't care less' attitude. People get all kinds of servivces and I understand that something that has effected me may not effect someone else but I really wish that people wouldn't comment on things that they clearly know nothing about considering you can't comment for every customer that uses the service. I am currently enjoying some offline gaming as I wait for the network to be back up and running, Sony certainly won't be loosing my loyalty over doing something as good as ensuring I can log in and play online with minimal risk to my account security. At the end of the day hacking happens, big companies to small ones, it happens and I think its nice to see that its taken seriously when it does. Ok I feel better now after my vent :-)

  20. Max Genus · 1631 days ago

    Sorry, but I don't consider PSN a "free" service. I paid for the console (just had to fork out for a second since the BD drive in my 40gb gave out), I pay for the games, I pay the ISP. The console and the game are marketed as providing the multiplayer experience.

    As for security, I have yet to hear if my credit card number has been exposed during this hack and the lack of information from SCEA isn't making me feel any more secure.

  21. Brandon · 1631 days ago

    I'll tell ya who hacked psn... It was that damn microsoft.

  22. Torey · 1631 days ago

    i dont mind the psn being down, im sure the people at sony are doing all they can to ensure that our gaming experience is awesome. i also started doing my homework and have been getting trophies and currently have 245 of them.
    (i also spend time with my lady and "got some" the other day because i wasnt playing blackops all day)

  23. Daniel J Hadfield · 1631 days ago

    There is new information out about what has happened. Turns out there is a debug interface open to developers that actually allowed them to access card numbers. Now the console is completely open the hackers are able to access the same interfaces. Stupid part for Sony to allow developers access to this information. What would they use it for?


  24. Chris · 1631 days ago

    Bad news guys! Serious data loss.

  25. Matt · 1631 days ago

    I'm still trying to figure out how this got turned into a consol war... I'm mean it's not sony's fault it's the hackers' fault. It's not like sony told them to hack it. Stuff happens.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley