As expected, the tale of Sony’s Playstation Network security breach and resulting down time continues to get more complicated. What started as a simple outage is now a multifaceted tale of stolen data, communication failures, law suits, government inquiries and a whole lot of frustrated gamers.
Here’s a rundown of the many heads the PSN outage and breach has spawned as we head into the second weekend without service:
- Security experts, listening in on underground forums, claimed that PSN’s hackers finagled 2.2 million credit card numbers, and now wish to sell the list for upwards of $100,000. Over at Ars Technica, some readers are claiming that they’ve experienced credit card fraud, and think the PSN breach is to blame. However, the experts who originally reported the credit card thefts are now backing off their original claims, and stressing that they can’t verify the information. Sony’s sticking to its original story, that it has no evidence of credit card theft, but can’t rule out the possibility.
- Congress, meanwhile, is getting involved. A House of Representatives subcommittee has sent 13 questions to Sony, demanding answers by May 6. Some of these questions have already been answered. For instance, Sony already said when it became aware of the breach (April 19). Other questions are remain unanswered, such as why Sony can’t say with certainty that credit card numbers weren’t taken. Other governments around the world are also demanding answers from Sony.
- There’s still no word on exactly when PSN service will return (Sony said on Tuesday that “we expect to have some services up and running within a week”). On the bright side, Sony suggests that it’ll try to make up for the down time with a goodwill gesture of sorts. “We are currently evaluating ways to show appreciation for your extraordinary patience as we work to get these services back online,” says the company’s latest FAQ.
- Meanwhile, Sony continues to take heat for the way it’s responded to the PSN security breach and outage. Over at Gamasutra, Colin Campbell puts aside the incident itself and argues that Sony’s response will cause long-term damage to the Playstation brand. Think of it as a longer, more thoughtful version of my rant on Sony’s refusal to apologize.