It’s gone under-reported this week—what with the royal nuptials (yes, I watched) and Donald Trump’s latest gasbaggery—but one of the biggest network hacks ever was pulled off, disabling the Playstation Network for the past nine days and potentially exposing the personal data of 77 million users, including limited credit card information. I noticed the hack last weekend, as I couldn’t go online to check out movies.* Instead, for the past nine days, I and every other member of the Playstation Network have been treated with a “the network is down for maintenance” message. Sony finally came clean on the 26th, several days after the attack, admitting their network had been seriously compromised, including the names, email addresses, user passwords, credit card numbers (minus cvc), purchase history, and potentially other data of users, and that they were working to increase security. No timetable has been announced for the network’s return.
You’d think the Playstation Network hack doesn’t effect those of us who mostly game offline. And, indeed, most games are still playable (some with draconian DRM requiring an online connection are unplayable right now). But online gamers, people who purchase games or movies over the network, stream tv and movies over the network, or have done so at least once in the past (guilty), are potentially at risk. I’m not sure what upsets me more: that an obvious target had such lax security that a hacker could gain access to such an incredible amount of data; Sony’s delayed admission that something was wrong; or that it’s been nearly a fortnight of darkness from the Playstation Network and no word of a return. Are they rebuilding from scratch? That inspires confidence. Everybody had better get a free copy of Uncharted 3 as compensation or something.
UPDATE (4/30, afternoon): Homeland Security getting involved. Also, Sony sets a target return date of 5/4.
*n.b. I’m not much of an online gamer anymore, except with people I know. As an early 30-something I no longer have the chops to go head-to-head with 16-year-olds who game 12 hours a day and have all the cheats turned on.