Sony’s PlayStation Network remains down after suffering an external intrusion that knocked the online gaming platform offline on April 20, and new reports suggest the popular gaming network may remain so until the end of the month.
Despite a promise on April 31 to have its PSN network back online within a week, Sony executives have lately backed away from that promise, saying that they misunderstood the full extent of the attack. In a blog post on May 6, the company said its first priority is ensuring that the network is completely secure and user data safe before restoring services. That could add weeks to the PSN go live date, spokesperson Shigenori Yoshida told Bloomberg on Sunday. The company now claims that it is in the process of adopting an improved security system and that they plan to bring services back online May 31.
Sony was the victim of a highly sophisticated and professional attack in April that exposed data on some 100 million people. The company has been dogged by criticism since revealing the breach. Kazuo Hirai, chairman of the board of Sony Computer Entertainment
America, wrote a letter to the U.S. House Commerce Committee last week explaining why the company neglected to report the intrusion for six days after it was internally discovered. Hirai claims the company was simultaneously suffering from a DDoS attacks that distracted the security team from becoming aware of the intrusion.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Hirai and others have pointed the finger at the= hacker-collective Anonymous. Sony alleges that a file titled “Anonymous” containing the message “we are legion” was left behind after the hack.
The allegedly leaderless and loosely organized group denies having played any role in the attack. However,two of the group’s veteran members revealed in an interview with Financial Times that Anonymous members, operating independently, may have been behind it. One said he even saw a discussion in an Anonymous forum of the technical details of a vulnerability that was eventually exploited to compromise the network.
Sony is searching for the culprits responsible for the attack even as it bolsters the security of its PSN and Station.com networks. A Cnet report says the Japanese electronics giant is even considering offering a reward for any information that leads to the arrest of those responsible.
As has become customary, the company claims no credit card information was compromised, but is still offering free credit monitoring services to all affected parties.