With the recent attacks on Sony I thought it was time to write a bit of a plea to these hackers in order to try and stop them from destroying such a large part of our gaming community. I will speak mostly about the consequences for us, gamers, but I’ll also add in what these attacks could mean for Sony as a company (and ultimately for us).
You might or might not know that Sony came under attack around 17 April. PSN was taken down on 20 April after Sony realised the magnitude of the ‘heist’. Turns out that the hackers ran off with data of millions of PSN accounts. The stolen data includes usernames, home addresses, e-mail accounts, birthdates AND passwords. Sony also confirmed that several creditcards have been stolen with the special CVC code included. There have also been reports of several purchases with these stolen cards, primarily in Germany and Japan.
In the meantime, it also became clear that the SEO servers have also been hacked. These servers are a different division of Sony and it’s not entirely clear if this attack is related to the one on PSN. SEO is responsible for several MMO’s among which is DC Universe Online and couple of Facebook games.
In the meantime, PSN and the SEO servers will stay down while Sony is completely rebuilding PSN from scratch. Furthermore, they hired a handful of security firms to investigate the virtual break-in and to prevent incidents like this to ever happen again.
Now, what does all this mean for us, gamers?
Well, quite a few things actually. First of all, we lost all our data and we’re probably not getting it back. This means that your personal information and possibly your credit card data is out in the open. Especially for your creditcard this could be dangerous as you probably realise. Beware of (e-)mail and telephone scams since your contact details are also made public now.
Other than that, if you bought anything via PSN like wallpapers, games and the like you’ll probably lose those in the process of rebuilding the entire PSN. Don’t worry though! Sony says all our precious trophies are safe … Thank god!
That’s just about it for the personal consequences. Now, I read that 25 – 31% of all the PSN subscribers are considering moving to another platform, ie. Xbox Live. This is potentially a massive loss for Sony, on top of the costs that the attack brought. I can imagine that Sony is spending millions to restart and secure their network. This whole incident could truly cost Sony’s head. Which in tun cripples the entire video game industry. This disadvantageous enough for you?
Well, it doesn’t really end there. If Sony can get hacked, anyone can get hacked. Microsoft and Nintendo are also in danger, as is just about any company in the world.
Now, before you go ‘Wha wha waha wha’ – Sony is a shit company that asked for it’. (that seems to be the concencus on most forums). I can understand that you’re all furious that Sony didn’t release the news of the attack until a week after the incident. And you’re right, they should’ve said something before but maybe they didn’t know the full extent of the attack before then?
Don’t get me wrong though, I am in no way defending Sony’s actions by calling out to hackers such as GeoHotz and I am of the opinion that they should’ve hired more security companies instead of law firms. But the reality is that they didn’t and now we’re facing the consequences so there’s no point in extra hate, because I’m pretty sure they now realise their mistake.
Frankly, I’m baffled that a lot of you feel betrayed by Sony. Personally, I feel more betrayed as a gamer. The people who I thought would stand by my side, on all parts of the console spectrum, through this hard time have instead opted to resort to ridicule and insults.
If there’s anyone you should be pissed off at it’s the people responsible for the attack. They brought your favourite online gaming platform down for an extended period, they ran off with all your personal information and they are the ones using it for shady purposes.
Something to think about before you start nerdraging again.
I use the word hacker for lack of a better word that defines the nature of the theft so well. I could’ve used virtual thief or something along those lines, but you get my point. I’m not trying to discredit your friendly neighbourhood hacker, even though I do think they could use their talents for a better cause.