Shame On You Sony
April 26, 2011
Posted by on
If you’re a Playstation 3 owner you might have noticed that the Playstation Network has been offline for nearly a week. Periodic downtimes are to be expected so no one was too upset when PSN went down at first. But when a few hours of down time turned into a couple of days of downtime the internet caught on fire due to fanboy rage. As I write this PSN has been down for nearly a week. If it was a matter of PSN being down I wouldn’t be bothered.
The longer PSN was down the less Sony was willing to say to their users. At first a generic message was placed online stating that PSN was down for maintenance. Okay, no big deal that shouldn’t take too long to handle. Wrong! As the service stayed offline Sony then disclosed that PSN had in fact been hacked and was shutdown temporarily so that it could be rebuilt from the ground up. I don’t know about anyone else, but this set off some alarm bells in my head. If the PSN service had been compromised so badly that it would have to be rebuilt there was definitely a problem. In an effort to be proactive I figured it was smart to cancel my credit card attached to my PSN account. Ironically enough, it was the Playstation credit card I had used to purchase my PS3 about 3 years ago.
Turns out it was pretty smart of me to cancel that credit card. Today, after nearly 6 days of downtime and barely any comments from Sony, it was announced that PSN user information was compromised by that hacker. Let me repeat myself, nearly 6 days after PSN was hacked Sony told their customers that personal information had been stolen by the hackers. Does anyone else have a problem with Sony not telling their customers that their credit card information has been stolen? There’s been a 6 day window where my credit card could have been used to buy god only knows what. Luckily when I cancelled my card it had a zero balance so I feel safer. However, it doesn’t make me feel better that other information such as my e-mail address, PSN account name, PSN account password, birthdate, and address are in someone’s hands. It makes it a lot easier to steal someone’s identity if you have all of this information.
All in all, this is an epic failure on Sony’s part. Their PSN system was hacked, user information stolen, and then shutdown. There is no win in this for Sony. From a public relations standpoint they fail even worse though. It took nearly 6 days for their customers to be informed that their personal information had been stolen. That delay is completely unacceptable and it never should have taken that long to inform their users/customers. This is not the level of customer service that keeps your customers with you. My advice to anyone that was compromised is to watch your credit cards closely for any bogus charges and if they show up dispute them. Better yet contact your credit card company and ask them to issue you a new credit card, or if all else fails cancel the card. I would also make sure you keep an eye on your e-mail, specifically don’t respond to any social engineering e-mails and make sure your spam filters are working.
I own both a PS3 and Xbox 360. To be honest, I bought my PS3 to play Blu-rays and a couple of Sony-specific games. My Xbox has always been my primary gaming system and a lot of that is because the bulk of my friends own Xbox’s and I can play online with them on Xbox Live. I have never been worried about XBL crashing and exposing my private/biographical information to a malicious hacker. I’d say this shutdown of PSN counts as a win for XBL. This is mostly because the Microsoft online gaming service is robust and much more fleshed out than PSN. People may complain about the cost of Xbox Live compared to PSN, but it looks like the old saying is true, you get what you pay for. Congratulations Microsoft, due to Sony’s epic fail I won’t be jumping on their next-gen console.
For more info check out Sony’s official announcement on their blog.