April 25, 2011

PlayStation Network Remains Offline, Hackers Blamed

Sony confirmed on Monday that a hacking attack was the cause of its PlayStation Network being taken offline.

Sony said it took down the network voluntarily while it investigated an "external intrusion."

The system has been unavailable for the past five days.

Users who have tried connecting to the network are met with an error messaging that says the network is "undergoing maintenance" or is "suspended."

According to Sony, over 70 million accounts are registered with its network worldwide.

The company thanks users for their patience in a blog post. It also assured them that it was working "around the clock" to strengthen the network infrastructure.

"Though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security," wrote Patrick Seybold, the company's senior director of corporate communications and social media.

Some believe that the hacker group Anonymous is behind the attack.  The group has been critical of the Japan-based entertainment giant over its treatment of George Hotz, an American hacker who unlocked the PS3's closed operating system.

However, Anonymous said in a message on its blog that "for once we didn't do it."

In denying responsibility for the attack, Anonymous said: "A more likely explanation is that Sony is taking advantage of Anonymous' previous ill-will towards the company to distract users from the fact that the outage is actually an internal problem with the company's servers."

The outage has affected other services running over the PlayStation Network, and is the latest in a series of problems for the network, which has suffered extended periods of downtime over the past few weeks.


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