Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Note About PSN Outageageddon

Yeah, just try pronouncing that imaginary word.

From Game|Life:
Sony thinks an “unauthorized person” now has access to all PlayStation Network account information and passwords, and may have obtained the credit card numbers of the service’s 70 million users.

Oh, shit--somebody's ass is about to get grounded big-time.

I think there are several points worth mentioning here (as always, your mileage may vary):
1) If Sony plays the victim card, please feel free to burst out laughing. We're not talking about an indie developer being hacked. We're talking about one of the most visible (and arrogant) companies in the world, and they have utterly failed at securing a network that contained personal information from over fifty million customers. There is no conceivable excuse or rationalization for that.

Should they have been hacked? No. Should we feel sorry for them? Also no. Are they victims? Only of being technically incompetent, apparently.

In spite of all that, I'm just waiting for Sony to start using the word "victimized", so that we can all associate them with a five-year-old girl who had her Easter candy stolen by a bad man.

Sorry, Sony. Not happening.

2) The real smoking gun here, potentially, is what Sony knew and when they knew it (greetings, Watergate). There are going to be lawsuits, unquestionably, and through the discovery process, if documents emerge that Sony knew credit card numbers had been compromised, yet neglected to inform us for a period of X days, the public will go thermonuclear.

Remember the Sony rootkit fiasco? Yeah, that will look like a picnic in the park compared to this.

And remember, this is Sony. It's not like they've exactly been forthcoming in the past. They don't handle situations like this well, and that's being kind. Look at the non-denial denial they issued yesterday (after six days of PSN outages):
While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility.

Sony's executives have acted for years like they're part of some secret "bro" culture, where they're the rockingest thing that ever happened and everyone else is just a poor poser. That's not exactly the kind of personality I expect to respond effectively in times like this.

It could get very, very ugly.

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