PSN Down For ‘Maintenance’, Websites Crawling On Day Of Promised Cyber Attack

PSN Down For ‘Maintenance’, Websites Crawling On Day Of Promised Cyber Attack

Just hours after the hacker collective Anonymous threatened to take down the PlayStation Network and major Sony websites, the PSN – the service that allows PS3 gamers to compete online and download games – has been going on and offline. The official PlayStation blog and Sony’s US PlayStation site are also loading slowly, if at all.

An official PlayStation Twitter account noted just before 1pm ET today that: “PSN currently undergoing sporadic maintenance. Access to the PSN may be interrupted throughout the day. We apologise for any inconvenience.” The service was down after that though appeared to be functioning again by 3.30pm ET.

We’ve contacted Sony to find out if they believe these outages are due to Anonymous’ attacks and, if not, what they’re doing to prepare for them.

Anonymous says they plan to attack Sony to punish the company for suing hacker George Hotz who cracked the PS3’s firmware. Hotz, also known as Geohot, is now embroiled in a legal and ethical conflict about whether he had a right to mess with Sony’s tech or if they are protected by US law to keep him out and can both shut him down and look through his Paypal records to see who may have been giving him financial support.


  • You know what? The original hackers and Sony are being just as bad as each other. This whole afair has turned in to a rather expensive pissing contest and to be honest, I don’t give a funk about how it turns out. Video game piracy is ruining the industry, just ask any PC gamer. If Anon are really behind the PSN downtime then the ONLY people they are hurting are innocent gamers which makes them the worst of the lot.

    Also, why is everyone bashing Sony? They haven’t been THAT bad. Overly aggresive maybe. Personally I hope for a conviction. Anything that encourages video game piracy is an loss for the industry.

    P.S. I’d say the same thing if it were Nintendo or Microsoft.

  • Jamie Watt: You seem clueless to the overall issue. While I don’t agree with everything anon does they do have a point and stand up for things I also believe strongly in.

    Sony deserves everything they have coming to them. They took away a feature they advertised and that is just plain wrong. Other OS was the reason it took so long before the PS3 got hacked and once they took it away it got hacked. They brought this upon themselves. These people were only returned access to a feature that Sony took away after selling a device with such support. Geohot doesn’t support piracy or cheating.

    This should also not be considered illegal. If it is legal to jailbreak a phone to run your own software then it should be legal for all devices. Its only logical.

    I think everyone should boycott Sony for their actions they have taken on gaining access to thousands+ of people private data.

    • “Other OS was the reason it took so long before the PS3 got hacked and once they took it away it got hacked”

      You’ve got it back to front – it got hacked BEFORE OtherOS got removed. It was OtherOS that actually provided the crack in the security that was used to hack it. And the hacker who did it was Hotz himself.

      So it was Hotz’s actions that led to Sony removing OtherOS in the first place, and then he turns around and acts like some kind of hero for another hack that just enables the restoration of a feature that was removed in the first place because of him.

      When you buy the console, you only own the hardware, not the software (including firmware). If you want to pull it to pieces and take the Cell out and build your own computer around it and code away to your heart’s content, you’re free to. What you don’t have the right to do is copy, modify or create derivative works on it (e.g. custom firmware), nor do you have the right to redistribute or republish any software in full or in part (e.g. encryption keys) which remain Sony’s property.

      Sony aren’t going after him for what he did with his hardware, they’re going after him for what he did with their software.

      • All true but this point “Sony for their actions they have taken on gaining access to thousands+ of people private data” is how I feel.

        I think Sony went too far in their pursuit of Hotz and are going to continue using all of their resources to make an example of him, no matter what the law says or what loopholes they use. I don’t defend Hotz, what he did was illegal, I do wish that we had more control over our own consoles, but we don’t and if you want to own one you have to accept that.

        However the way Sony has acted I feel they deserve all that they get.

        • And in this case what they get is some downtime/slowed performance that will annoy the majority of their users but not really bother anyone involved in these decisions at all.

          Anonymous is trying to teach Sony that the little guys will group up and fight back, but all Sony will learn from this is that Anonymous can’t do jack.

          • That and I believe they wanted to see all users that had been to his website as well, whether they had downloaded anything or not.

            In response to DogMan, a little downtime is often enough. I know that it is the average user that is paying at the moment as they can’t go online, and it looks like the downtime isn’t much, but any downtime is a loss for Sony.

            I am sure Sony has a monetary value matched against downtime of the PSN network. It will be a combination of potential lost sales, the work involved in bringing it back up, the seeming lack of reliability in the system by the consumer. This isn’t really an apt example as I work for a manufacturer but in the small factories I work at they estimate every 15 minutes the computer system is down it costs $10,000.

            If the PSN was down for a day it might not mean much to us, but it would mean a lot to Sony. I dont necessarily encourage people to do this, but I do think Sony deserves some repercussions for their actions and it is only unfortunate that the honest consumer gets caught in the middle.

          • If the downtime was enough to attract media attention, which it most likely won’t, it would only attract more attention to Sony’s case and the fact that some people are greatly upset by Sony’s actions. In this case it doesn’t matter if Sony is right or wrong, you can be sure that the whole thing is embarassing to them and they don’t want the bad publicity. It doesn’t look like Anonymous will achieve that though, the sites looked fine to me when I first read this article.

          • I’m not sure what it is that you think the average person would find unreasonable in Sony’s actions? They think their legal rights have been infringed upon, so they’re seeking redress through the legal system. This is why we have a legal system. There seems to be this undercurrent running through these discussions that somehow Sony is wrong and Hotz is right simply because they’re a big corporation and he’s a single individual. When it’s little guy vs big guy the little guy must automatically be getting hard done by. But that’s not always the case.

            What else are Sony supposed to do? As a corporation they can either take legal action or do nothing at all. There isn’t really any middle-of-the-road option. Maybe they could hire some goons to just beat Hotz up and teach him a lesson without getting the law involved – would that be better? Or perhaps Kaz Hirai and/or Howard Stringer just could go round to Hotz’s place, take a crap in a paper bag, set it on fire, leave it on the doorstep, ring the doorbell and run away. That’ll teach him.

          • Funnily enough I also do a lot of service work involving manufacturing equipment so I know what you mean when you say downtime costs money.

            The difference here is that they’re not truly manufacturing here (they are, but it’s a completely on demand instant process). They’re also not serving anything that will spoil and PS3 users who are after things from the PSN store will still buy them when the system is running properly again.

            Obviously there’s costs involved, and I’m sure if Sony had someone they could take to court over it those costs would come out as some amazing number, but the reality is that unless this goes on for a week it’s not going to have enough of an impact to send any real message.

    • He didn’t mod the console to run his own software. He broke open Sonys software and modified that. If he had made his own OS with no trace of Sonys in it, there would be no case. It’s like the meter box on your house. It’s your house, you own the property. See how far you get if you start messing with the meters on your property.

      And by releasing to root keys, Hotz has facilitated piracy and cheating. And he knows it.

    • “Geohot doesn’t support piracy or cheating.”

      What kind of fantasy world do you live in? One where there is giant walking slices of fairy bread and cupcakes running through fields of fairy floss?

      No one cares about Anonymous and what they do. They aren’t hurting Sony by taking these services offline, they are hurting us the consumer. Anonymous should spend their time researching various methods of personal hygiene and putting them into practice. It’d be a far more productive use of their time.

      “We are anonymous, we are legion” WHAT THE F…!?!? Seriously, grow some balls guys.

      • This is exactly my point. I doubt the execs at Sony are wondering how they’ll do business without the PSN. The only people suffering are the gamers who use the service. A service which Sony offers for free I might add. Okay, so they may lose a few store purchases…

    • I wish people would stop bitching about a feature that they never ran or intended on running (OtherOS). Get over it. Sony removed this because it gave hacker an in.

      Blame the people circumventing the PS3’s copy protection for your loss, not Sony.
      They will do everything they can to keep the PS3 a stable and profitable console. If you blame them for that then you really are dense.

  • All I know is that the PSN went down during my second session of Crysis 2 online. Much sadness followed.

  • Regarding the idiots responsible for this ‘attack’: Seriously children, grow up and join the real world. I can just see them all sitting around jerking off going ‘Yay! Score one for the good guys! Damn the man!’ They’re not helping anyone, except themselves – they’ll be more impressed with being ‘legion’ (rofl) than making a difference.

    This sort of action and mentality is the domain of naievety. Protest about something that matters, in a way that’s constructive. They think this will send a positive message or encourage change? Dude.

    I liked having the option of installing another OS on my PS3. But it’s not going to kill me to not have it. If you have a problem with it being taken away, go attack Hotz, not Sony. Amazing how a select few can spoil it for everyone, true of most things in life.

    • Oh, in addition to my previous comment: I’ve spent thousands of dollars (including the console, peripherals and games) on my PS3. I resent some group of misguided idiots taking away my right to use it. As someone else mentioned – this isn’t hurting Sony, just the consumer.

  • Yes anon are hurting the consumer but here’s the thing. Anon is nobody in particular, there is no real face or name to associate with it, no one to lay blame on. So where will the average consumer turn to, to vent their blame? Sony.

    If Sony had not been so gung-ho on the matter this would never have happened. Sony really are the ones to blame for the whole mess. Hotz did something wrong, yes. But all Sony have done are wasted time and money to make an example of some kid. What’s the result from this? Bad publicity, extra attention drawn to security flaws in their system which will make more people want to attempt similar, and perhaps malicious acts, of hacking etc, a disruption to their services thanks to Anon and, if this continues, a growing number of annoyed customers.

    • ‘Hotz did something wrong, yes.’

      So that’s it? He broke the rules and instigated this whole thing, but it’s Sony’s fault? I’m not blaming Sony, just idiots like Anon and to a lesser degree, Hotz for screwing up my gaming time.

      Hotz chose to do what he did, and everyone can tout ‘homebrew’ or ‘backups’ or ‘freedom of information’, but he broke the law in order to facilitate piracy, at least partially.

      Sony acts in it’s best interests, which is to preserve it’s product’s integrity and (shock horror) it’s profit margins – and suddenly Sony’s the devil?

          • Nice, a smartarse remark to avoid the simple question I asked. What good has come of this situation for Sony?

            Last I checked; bad publicity, creating more awareness about security related issues pertaining to your product and also not having your online marketplace working is not a good thing.

            Oh and the millions they’ve spent on legal counsel that so far might not get them anywhere…

            Yeah, that’s a GREAT way to preserve ones product integrity and profit margins…

      • When Sony are trying to claim I don’t have the right to install whatever OS I like on Hardware that I own, hell yes I’ll support someone like Geohotz.

        They may own the rights to the software, but I own the damn hardware, and I should not have to tolerate tolerate some BS company exec trying to tell me what I can and can’t run as an OS on it. I don’t see why anyone else should, either

    • I’m an average consumer and I don’t blame Sony. Why would I? That would be a stupid thing to do. Just because we don’t know who “Anonymous” are, doesn’t mean they aren’t to blame. That’s like saying we should blame a building’s owners if terrorists attack it.

      • I wonder how all these people screaming at Sony would react if it was their business and product being affected?

        Also, Sony isn’t just a few lawyers and executives taking all the money from ps3 sales. It’s literally tens of thousands of employees worldwide, all who depend on Sony products to feed families. Sony isn’t just protecting it’s profits, but the livelihood of all these people.

        But I forgot. Hotz is fighting the good fight O_o

    • But… if anon weren’t such douche-bags, I’d still be able to get online with my ps3 right now, right?

      I don’t particularly love Sony, but I don’t blame them for someone else disrupting the service Sony provides. i blame anon.

    • “Anon is nobody in particular, there is no real face or name to associate with it, no one to lay blame on”

      That’s the really hilarious part about this particular group of tossers. Their own statement says “knowledge is free”, then they go and post it under “anonymous”. If information is free, why not use your real name(s)? Oooohhh… you mean OTHER people’s information should be free – you want to keep your own information private. Hypocrites.

      • I completley agree with you, braains. the whole thing about shit being free is just redickulose. these “men” sould grow some and STFU.

  • I love all the Anonymous bashing going on here. It’s fantastic. Time for them to wake up, open the curtains and get out of mummy’s basement to see how much they are actually hated in the real world.

    I bet they’d cry pretty hard if Sony withdrew the PS3 and all PSN services. Actually, no they wouldn’t. They probably just go back to farming WoW gold so that they can buy some sweet booties for their level 70 ogre douchebag.

  • this is why you should play on computers so much better none of this nonsense yes there are a few cheaters here and there but they do get banned and we can still play our games online or off.

    • umm.. You can play console games without a connection. I think you’re forgetting about the marvelous DRM for pc games. I think your little comment is a FAIL!

  • Dear Anonymous, what would hurt more; your pityful attempts at making a point to Sony, or the number of pissed off people that will beat the crap out of you who cant get online because of you.

  • lol its almost as if geohot is a secret member of the legendary anonymous organization, and the information he has is going to expose their identities so they have to stop sony from getting access to it.
    its just like a movie{^_^}
    and maybe shia labeouf could be geohot
    and anonymous is run by brad pit(cuz hes just so awesome!!!)

  • PSN is down again on 4/21/11. Cant sign in this better not be he work of anyomous. as for my opnion george hotz should have never gotten off those charges. IT STATES IN THE THE FIRMWARE UPDATE AGEREEMENT “THAT NO USER OR PARTY MAY DISASSEMBLE, MODIFY, VEIW SOURCE CODE, OR REDISTRUBITE THEIR FIRMWARE. He knew the rules and decided to break them. futhermore anyomous are CYBER TERRORIST’S whose only concern is mayhem. They are hurting innocent gamers who up until this point and maybe still dont have any idea as to whats happening. I think there a bunch of punks with way to much time on there hands. Note this the are not your friend they are your enemy.

  • See this is what I don’t get: Why in the world would Sony have to take away stuff such as Other OS from gamers when all of a sudden some hacker who knew what the rules are decided to break it? It’s like punishing the other people who did not do anything wrong when it’s just gonna make things worse such as losing customers and more people are gonna try to do whatever they can to try to get around it.

  • Not happy about this. Atleast sony has free online play at the moment. Anonymous may have just comprimised this. Your hurting the gamers not the company. I play dc universe online which i have to pay a subscription for. Now i cant log in the network to play. Are you guys going to reimburse me? Yea didn’t think so, stop your stunt and look at both sides. Why dont you sue sony? Instead of punishing us the gamers.

  • I’m on the fence about this one.

    If I buy a car and modify the chip, then sell the settings I have which acquire more horsepower/torque, Ford/Chevy/etc. doesn’t mind this at all.

    When I bought a TV and they reset the coding to make it last longer and display a better picture, no one said anything.

    But when someone figured out this, Sony raises hell…becuase it will cost them money. In the end, that’s all that is at stake is Sony’s money.

    They already charge $500 for a system, $60/game, $40/movie (blu-ray), $50 for a dang remote, $50/controller, $75/HDMI, etc etc etc…and we feel sorry for them???

    Help me out here…I have over $2,000 in my office disabled (basically) because Sony wants more $$$…F’EM

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