Playstation Network Creeping Back Online

Adam Martin
Playstation Network Creeping Back Online

The long-dark Playstation Network is back up for first time since Sony turned off the service on April 20, after it learned hackers had breached the network and stole information, including logins and credit card data, from some 77 million users, but it's off to a wobbly start. Shortly after Sony reactivated parts of the network on Saturday, a sudden rush of traffic caused the network black out for many users. PC World called the reactivation a "part-zombie resurrection," noting that after the company announced the service's return it quickly blacked it out again because so many people were trying to change their passwords. "We're expereiencing a heavy load of password resets and will be turning off the services for 30 minutes to clear the queue," the company tweeted last night.

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Sony's reactivation rolled out on a country-by-country basis, starting in the Americas, then Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East. Japan, where Sony is based, said it wouldn't allow the service to activate there. Kazushige Nobutani, director of the Media and Content Industry department at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, told Dow Jones Newswires that the company "was incomplete in exercising [preventative] measures that they said they will do on the May 1 press conference," though he didn't specify what those measures were. He also said the company hadn't sufficiently explained how it would regain consumer confidence.

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Without trying to read too much into Sony's tribulations, it's worth pointing out that at this writing, the comments on its blog have been deactivated because they weren't "functioning correctly."

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Sony's handling of the hacker attack and its aftermath has caused some uproar among gamers. The company didn't acknowledge the data breach until two days later, April 22, and didn't specify until April 26 that credit card data may have been accessed. The company suggested the loose-knit hacking organization Anonymous might have been responsible for the breach, but the organization has vehemently denied that. In a blog post on May 9, Anonymous released an audio recording that said in part: 

While it could be the case that other anons have acted by themselves, AnonOps was not related to this incident, and does not take responsibility for whatever has happened. A more likely explanation is that Sony is taking advantage of Anonymous’s 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.