PSN down for half a day on Monday
Sony triggered an upset among gamers on Sunday with notice that it would be taking down the PlayStation Network for maintenance during 13 hours on Monday. From 9AM Eastern until 10PM, gamers won't have the option of playing any games online, checking their accounts, or using services like PlayStation Home and the PlayStation Store. Websites that need PSN, even including the official PlayStation blog, would also be switched off.
LulzSec member admits to hacking Sony
The original LulzSec team was dealt a hit Thursday after member Cody Kretsinger pleaded guilty to his role in the Sony Pictures hack from last year. He agreed to accept convictions over charges of both conspiracy and "unauthorized impairment of a protected computer" in return for a deal. The admission was a reversal of an earlier not guilty plea.
Details remain scarce
Sony has released a software update for the PlayStation Vita, while teasing an upcoming video feature for the PlayStation 3. As part of the weekly PlayStation Blogcast, Sony's social media manager, Jeff Rubenstein, noted that the company is working on a "cool new video service" that will be available for PSN users.
Suit claims iTunes and PSN owe inventor credit
An attempt at two high-profile lawsuits has accused Apple and Sony of violating a patent for online stores. Pretoria, South Africa citizen Ben Grobler has alleged that both the iTunes Store and PlayStation Network (now Sony Entertainment Network) are copying technology for a "Data Vending System" patent granted in the US in 2004. Their systems of selling, storing, and managing copyrighted apps and media was drawing on the technology, Grobler said in a Northern District of California court.
PS3 4.11 and Xbox 360 update appear
Microsoft and Sony unintentionally posted simultaneous updates for their game systems overnight on Thursday. The Xbox 360 has received its promised fix for a color space issue, where certain apps and video playback would distort the colors. The upgrade is required to keep using Xbox Live and will translate to individual apps.
Sony gives PSN new SEN badge in days
Sony has given notice that the unification of its online entertainment services mentioned during its CES keynote would affect the PlayStation Network on February 7. A terms of service change will see the service renamed as part of the Sony Entertainment Network. Actual functionality should stay the same.
PS Vita games get discount over PSN
A quick investigation has confirmed that PlayStation Vita owners in the US will get a discount on games if they buy through the PlayStation Network. Shacknews heard that, as in Japan, games will not just be available the same day as a download but will be price-cut over their retail versions. The discounts are about 10 percent over boxed copies, or about $4-5 for games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss.
Sony tempts gamers with special PS Vita deal
Sony has hoped to lure gamers to the PlayStation Vita with another bundle for the official February 22 US arrival. The Launch Day bundle mates the 3G version of the console with a free month's pass for 250MB of AT&T data. While most of the accessories aren't present from the First Edition bundle, gamers get a twice-as-large 8GB memory card to encourage more game and add-on downloads.
Nintendo Network to accompany 3DS and Wii U
Nintendo's Friday briefing in the wake of its tough quarterly results has confirmed that it plans to at last go head-to-head with Microsoft and Sony in a persistent online gaming network. Just called Nintendo Network, it will let gamers download chat and play with each other without needing friend codes in addition to getting game add-ons. On the Wii U, gamers will have personal accounts, presumably letting them transport their Mii, downloads, and other preferences across systems.
Sony sued over addition of PSN do-not-sue clause
Sony is being sued for the new clause in its PlayStation Network end-user license agreement that protects it from just such things, Geek reported on Tuesday. The addition was made in September and prompted games developer EA and software giant Microsoft to make similar changes. Under the terms, PSN gamers must agree not to sue Sony if their accounts are hacked in the future or if anything else goes wrong.
Judge dismisses PlayStation case on lack of ground
Judge Richard Seeborg is now known to have completely dismissed the PlayStation 3 Other OS lawsuit late last week. A ruling made public on Tuesday (below) eliminated the one remaining complaint of violation surrounding the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. While sympathetic to the gamers for losing the ability to boot Linux on the PS3, Judge Seeborg determined that Anthony Ventura and other plaintiffs hadn't persuaded the court that Sony was legally responsible.
Valve says Steam payment, passwords may be at risk
Valve Software co-founder Gabe Newell warned in a message to users that a forum hack found on November 6 had also touched on vital account information. After an investigation, the Portal 2 developer found that the unnamed intruders had gotten into a database that also had account names, e-mail, encrypted credit card numbers and passwords, and purchase records. While Valve had no reason to think the account information itself had been compromised, Newell advised gamers to watch their credit card activity "closely."
Offers 10X rewards points for games and rentals
Sony has teamed up with Capital One to offer a rewards card for PlayStation enthusiasts. The PlayStation Card will offer ten times the reward points for every purchase made on the PlayStation Network. This includes game-related PSN purchases as well as PSN movie or TV show purchases and rentals.
Sony locks down 93K accounts after possible breach
Sony's chief security officer Philip Reitinger warned late Tuesday that there had been a "massive" account cracking attempt on the PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment. While it failed against the wide majority, the attempt successfully cracked the login info for about 93,000 accounts, 60,000 of which were PSN. All of those accounts were locked down to prevent a hijack, Sony said.
Search by title, actor, category, studio, more
A post on the PlayStation Network blog describes a new application called "Video Unlimited - preview." The app will be available from the Media section of the PlayStation store. The app provides previews for over 40,000 items in the PSN library. It gives users an extremely flexible search tool, allowing searches by title, actor, director, category, studio, and more. When an item is selected, the app gives the usual synopsis in the middle of the screen, and suggestions for other viewing in a sidebar on the right side.
PSN down again in US, Europe for hours
Sony's PlayStation Network has once again gone down, with an error message (8002A548) greeting users trying to log in. Sony is aware of the issue, saying so on its Twitter page. The network is down on a large scale as well, as the PlayStation Blog Europe is also saying the network is down. While the usual promises of work being done to get the service restored are being made, there is no reason given for the outage.
New EULA arrives alongside a mandatory update
Sony has reportedly modified its PlayStation Network end-user license agreement to help shield the company from class-action lawsuits. The company is currently in the process of pushing mandatory updates for the PSN service, though the update requires users to agree to a new set of terms that prohibits subscribers from joining a class-action proceeding.
Security chief ups confidence for online plans
Sony has tapped a veteran of the US Department of Homeland security for the newly created position of chief information security officer. Former director of the U.S. National Cyber Security Center Philip Reitnger will become a senior vice president with the company and report to general counsel Nicole Seligman. The move comes in response to the attack on Sony's Playstation Network in April that caused a monthlong shutdown of the network and compromised the personal information of millions of PSN subscribers.
Sony chief says PSN outage was great for learning
The four-week long PSN outage was a "great experience," according to president of Sony Network Entertainment Tim Schaaff. The claim, made during an interview with VentureBeat on Wednesday at the MobileBeat conference, argued that the pressure of the breach made the PlayStation service stronger. Customers were also at least as interested as they were before.
Sony CEO ignores shareholder request to step down
At a recent shareholders' meeting, Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer claimed the company was targeted by hackers in the popularized PS3 jailbreak and ensuing PSN outage. The hacks against Sony's servers exposed personal and credit card information of 77 million PSN and Qriocity accounts. The CEO declined to see Sony as anything but a victim and portrayed the hackers as nothing but frustrated pirates.
Sony sued again over PSN, staff cuts pinned
A second lawsuit over PSN hacks this week has accused Sony of cutting jobs whose absence may have worsened or contributed to the hack. A "substantial percentage" of Sony Online Entertainment, including some in the network operations center, were let go just two weeks before the April 19 incident that hit both SOE and PSN. Sony lowered its safeguards through job cuts just as the attacks came in, the lawsuit alleged.
Sega Pass next in wave of game related hacks
Sega on Friday in a warning to gamers said that its Sega Pass online service had been hacked. It took down the service after discovering that the database had been compromised. Those at PlayStation Lifestyle and elsewhere had been told that e-mail addresses and encrypted passwords had been compromised.
Spanish Police arrest three Anonymous hackers
Spanish National Police on Friday said they have made three arrests from what they believe is the Anonymous group of hackers, the New York Times reported. Members of the group are believed to have been responsible for the crippling of Sony's PSN gaming servers and Sony Entertainment Online. One of them is 31-year-old man who was detained in Almeria.
Sony talks PSVita and more at E3 2011 event
Sony is holding its E3 press conference for E3 2011 on the USC campus tonight. The company is expected to formally rechristen the NGP as the PSVita, its main challenge to Apple and Nintendo in the gaming space. Visit our live coverage page from 8PM Eastern or 5PM Pacific for real-time updates as they happen.
Nintendo reports its own hacking incident
Lulz Security switched targets on Sunday and said it had attacked Nintendo's servers. The team successfully grabbed Nintendo's webserver configuration file and posted it online as proof. On Twitter, the group was emphatic that it "didn't mean any harm" with this breach and that Nintendo had already fixed the hole by the time it had gone public.
PSN Welcome Back greets PS3, PSP gamers before E3
Sony wrapped up its pre-E3 run with word that its Welcome Back program was now live. As promised, PSN members from before the service went down April 20 can choose two PS3 games and two PSP games if they own one or both systems. Both platforms get older but major titles, such as Infamous and Wipeout HD Fury on the PS3 and LittleBigPlanet or Killzone Liberation on the PSP.
Lulz Security hits Sony again in security message
Sony was embarrassed again on Thursday after Lulz Security posted that it had successfully hacked Sony Pictures' website. It lived up to its earlier promise and used a basic SQL injection attack to expose one million users' personal data, 3.5 million digital coupons and 75,000 music codes. The hacking team found that the information had few defenses and that none of the data, even including passwords, were stored in clear text.
PlayStation Store and PSN completely back
Sony at the turn of midnight Thursday said it had brought back the PlayStation Store as promised this week. The shop and its DLC were available immediately in North America and also included new content, including new demos, full games, add-ons, and sales. Both PS3 and PSP owners could get to the new content.
Sony vows all PSN services due for most by weekend
Sony told gamers early Tuesday that most countries would have nearly all their PlayStation Network service back by the end of the week. The additions would include the PlayStation Store as well as in-game DLC, Media Go sharing, and the Music Unlimited side of the Qriocity music service. Video on Demand and non-PlayStation Qriocity music were due to get details later.
LulzSec plans new wave of Sony hacking
Hacking collective Lulz Security teased on Sunday that it was about to launch a fresh campaign against Sony "within the next day." Following attacks on Sony Music Japan and elsewhere, the first phase of "Sownage" (Sony ownage) was coming along with a "pre-game show." As expected, the group didn't name its targets other than some Sony websites.
Sony to explain PSN breach to Congress next week
Sony in a statement Saturday confirmed it would at last testify in front of Congress over the PlayStation Network hack in April. The company had refused the first time, arguing that it was too busy investigating the hack, but now said Sony Network Entertainment International head Tim Schaaff would present at a broader information security hearing on June 2. The company had already answered some issues in a letter, but its appearance in person would be appreciated, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack's spokesman, Ken Johnson, told the New York Times.
Sony promises PSN back in Asia this weekend
Sony has announced that it would restore PSN gaming service in Japan and other regions in Asia on Saturday. The return would come over a month after the gaming network was voluntarily shut down following a hack and over a week later than other regions. Japan's government didn't let Sony reinstate user access to the network until Sony could ensure it made the necessary fixes to ensure this kind of hack doesn't happen again.
Customers offered 1 year of ID theft protection
Sony has announced that the special identity theft protection program that it is offering to PlayStation Network and Qriocity customers is live as of today. Sony initiated the program to help regain and retain customers after the recent hacking and theft of personal customer information from its websites that began in late April. The program provides PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders with 12 months of no cost AllClear ID Plus protection from Debix, an identity protection specialist.
Sony Ericsson site in Canada hacked, info exposed
The city of Taipei in Taiwan is unsatisfied with Sony's response to its request for information regarding the security leak after Sony's PSN gaming network was hacked. According to ComputerWorld, government officials aren't happy with Sony's offer to extend PSN memberships as compensation for the breach, which left personal and credit card information of users exposed. If Sony didn't answer Taipei's letter within 10 days, it could face a fine between the equivalent of about $1,036 and $10,360.
Sony Music Japan joins other Sony hacks
Sony faced the latest in a string of hacks on Tuesday after a second breach. A new hack against Sony Music Japan has used two SQL database injection attacks to get access to the site's contents. Lulz Security, a 'gray' hacking group playing on the 4chan meme, didn't crack servers hosting valuable information and said they had just done it to "embarrass Sony some more."
Sony promises 6.39 update for PSP, PSN updated
Sony on Tuesday announced it will soon release a system software update for the PSP system, which is effectively the equivalent of the PS3 3.61 update. It will guide users through the process of changing their PSN password and also improve system stability in specific cases. The update is required to get back on the PSN after the hack that took the gaming network offline for more than three weeks.
Sony fiscal year sees 3.2b loss and 171m for PSN
Sony revealed a major blow to its finances in an early warning regarding results for its latest fiscal year (PDF). The company said it had lost $3.2 billion in the 12 months ended March 31 through several factors. Its nearly month-long PSN outage due to hacks is now known to have cost the company $171.17 million, both through repairing the damage as well as free PS3 and PSP games and a month of PlayStation Plus access.
So-net user accounts hacked, gift points taken
Sony subsidiary So-net Entertainment Corp which provides Internet services said a hacker accessed its customer rewards site this week. Redeemable gift points with a value of nearly $1,225 were then stolen. A company spokesperson didn't rule out the possibility the attack was related to the recent PSN attack, but downplayed such a likelihood because the method of intrusion differed from that of the PSN hack.
Sony Thailand page victim of a phishing scam
F-Secure security labs has found a phishing site is running on Sony's server in Thailand. The phishing site runs under hdworld.sony.co.th and targets an Italian credit card company, CartaSi. While the attack isn't as serious as the PSN hack, it still represents a flaw at a time when Sony needs it the least.
Sony and Rockstar say PS3 not overheating
Sony and Rockstar quickly worked to silence a rumor Thursday with a joint statement denying that LA Noire was overheating consoles. Following since-removed comments from Rockstar's support, the two said that neither the open-world game nor the PS3 3.61 firmware was leading either to just excess heat or full system shutdowns. They didn't have an answer for those who had complained about lockups.
Sony also outlines new content distribution plan
Gamasutra reports that Sony has sent a memo out to its developer and publishing partners, letting them know that the PlayStation Store will be back up and running next Tuesday, May 24. The purported memo also provides schedules for how the company plans to deal with the backlog of games, expansions and fixes that have built up since hackers forced the company to take the store and network offline. Sony has neither confirmed nor denied that this memo was sent.
Sony solves PSN password exploit in same day
Sony quickly responded to talk of the PSN password reset exploit with a response of its own. Senior corporate communications head Patrick Seybold acknowledged that there had been a "URL exploit" in the password reset tool but that it already been fixed. He rebuffed claims by some that it was a hack and emphasized that it was on the web.
Sony PSN hit again through password exploits
Sony took an embarrassing blow on Tuesday as it confirmed that it had taken down its PSN and Qriocity password reset tools just after bringing service back. An exploit has surfaced that needs only a gamer's e-mail address and the holder's date of birth to get a new password and hijack an account. Eurogamer had seen video evidence of the exploit proving that it worked.
Sony not slow, no guarantee of 100% security
Sir Howard Stringer has defended Sony’s response to the massive data breach that exposed user information to hackers. Numerous critics have lambasted Sony for waiting up to a week before notifying customers of the nature of the attack on its servers after first shutting them down without notice. In an interview with the New York Times, Stringer claimed that “[Sony] reported quickly.”
Company announces perks following outage
Sony has announced a new "customer appreciation program" that aims to pacify frustrated customers who have been affected by the ongoing PlayStation Network and Qriocity outages. Customers will be able to choose from two free PS3 games, including Dead Nation, inFAMOUS, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, or Wipeout HD + Fury. PSP owners will also be eligible to download two PSP games such as LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force, or Killzone Liberation.
Sony not allowed to restart PSN, SOE in Japan
Sony will not be allowed to restart its PlayStation Network in Japan following a near month-long global outage until it gives a local government regulator the information it has requested, FoxBusiness reported over the weekend. While service in North America has been restored over the weekend, the Media and Content Industry department at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry maintains it needs further information before approving the reinstatement of the PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment services. This includes an outline of the preventative measures Sony will take or has taken to ensure another similar incident doesn't happen again.
Sony pushes PS3 3.61 to brace for PSN return
(Update 2: PSN now back) Sony on Saturday night said it was rolling out the promised mandatory new firmware for PS3s to get ready for the return of the PlayStation network. The 3.61 update pushes a password change and also requires that password changes for PS3 users can only take place on the PS3 itself. Those who've never used a PS3 to get content will still get an e-mail with a one-time link to change the password.
PSN outage boon for Xbox 360 console, game sales
Sony's three-week long PSN outage is turning out to be good news for sales of Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, Edge claimed. Sources said PS3 owners are trading in their consoles for cash or Xbox 360s, while sales of PSN points cards and pre-orders of PS3 games are dwindling. A UK vendor who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the second week of the network outage PS3 consoles saw a more than 200 percent increase in trade-ins, with about half of them being traded for cash and the other half for Xbox 360s.
Sony says site shutdown due to maintenance
Sony has righted a Wednesday report that its US PlayStation website went down due to another hacker attack. According to Reuters, the company said the site outage was due to the installation of a new security measure. This caused the US PlayStation site inaccessible from select regions outside of the US.
Early warning could have prevented third PSN hack
A Thursday report from CNET about a planned third attack against Sony's PSN servers may have put a stop to it, the same source let it be known on Monday. During a new IRC channel the hacking group uses to communicate, a member wrote that he believes Sony saw the article since the last server that was freely accessible is now offline and being secured. "There goes our window," read the comment.