Talking Point: The Impact of the PlayStation Network Disaster
Posted by James Newton
Where do we go from here?
The recent attack on PlayStation Network has made headlines around the world, even reaching the US Senate as players, analysts and politicians come to terms with what has happened. Here's a quick recap:
Sunday 17th April to Tuesday 19th April
PlayStation Network is the victim of an "illegal and unauthorised intrusion" by an unnamed individual or group. In response, Sony shuts down PlayStation Network, forcing gamers into an offline netherworld judging by the number of baffled users on Twitter and message boards.
Wednesday 20th April to Monday 25th April
Regular posts on the official PlayStation Blogs and Twitter accounts only repeat the party line: there is no new information, network members are thanked for their patience and assured service will be restored shortly.
Tuesday 26th April
Sony reveals the full extent of the damage to PlayStation Network: the unauthorised intrusion has resulted in user details being "compromised", also known as "stolen". Sony confirms its belief that personal details including names, addresses, passwords and security answers have been taken by the intruders, but most controversial is the company's stance regarding credit cards.
While Sony has no evidence to prove that credit card data has been taken, it states it "cannot rule out the possibility", understandably sending users into a state of anxious uncertainty.
After ten days without PSN, Sony still has no definite date for when the network will be re-established, but in the meantime is recommending gamers to be extra cautious about suspicious emails asking for personal details. The company has stated it expects some services to be available by the weekend, with others taking longer to rebuild, making this easily the longest sustained period of outage in the service's history.
The ensuing damage isn't just about credit card details and not being able to play SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs online — a contributing factor in the delay to our review, incidentally. It's about customer faith in Sony being shaken, not just by the compromise itself but the lengthy wait between the initial disruption and the revelation of what really happened. In an age where news spreads at the speed of light, many view waiting 10 days to explain the situation far too slow.
What's your take on this situation? How has the service outage affected you, and what do you make of Sony's response? Join the discussion in the comments section below.