And lo! we find ourselves slipping gracefully into May 2011 with the PlayStation Network Outage/Hack rumbling on, LA Noire did well before the storm, and the US senate even managed to have a word.
Let’s start with the numbers... the PSN Hack numbers. As we reported back in May
, ‘Sony PSN: 77 Million Users = 12.3 Million Credit Card Details’.
That’s correct: Credit Card Details, and lots of them.
“Sony presented evidence to the US Congress yesterday in the form of a letter that contained some detail of the PSN/SOE hacks including a timeline, but also some fascinating facts and figures regarding the 77 million user accounts on PSN.”
Sony even provided what it saw as a timeline of events for the intrusion:
April 19th 2011 at 4:15pm PDT - "...several PSN servers unexpectedly rebooted themselves and that unplanned and unusual activity was taking place on the network", "...members of the Sony Network Entertainment America Network Team (SNEANT) detected unauthorised activity system...".
April 20th (Early Afternoon) - "SNEANT discovered evidence that an unauthorised had occurred and that data of some kind had been transferred off the PSN servers without authorisation...", "SNEANT retained a recognised security and forensic consulting team to mirror servers to enable forensic analysis to begin..."
“April 21st - "Sony retained a second recognised computer security and forensic consulting firm to assist in the investigation..."
“April 22nd (Afternoon) - the 'team' "completed mirroring of nine of the 10 servers that were suspected of being compromised."
“April 22nd - "SCEA's general counsel provided the FBI with information about the intrusion... a meeting was set up for Wednesday April 27th 2011."
“April 23rd (Evening) - "the forensic teams were able to confirm that intruders had used very sophisticated and aggressive techniques to obtain unauthorised access, hide their presence from the system administrators, and escalate privileges inside the servers."
“April 25th - "the forensic teams were able to confirm the scope of the personal data that they believed had been taken but could not rule out whether credit card information had been accessed."
“April 26th - "SCNEA and SCEA notified consumers that their personal information had been taken and that the companies could not rule out the possibility that credit card data had been stolen as well."
“April 27th - "SCNEA also notified regulatory authorities in the states of Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Puerto Rico of the criminal intrusion described above."
Surely things could only get better for the beleaguered company?
Sir Oswald Mosley: Fascist leader beloved of The Daily Mail
But before we deal with that, let’s have another peak into the Video Games world as seen by the mainstream press. In this case, The Daily Mail
. Yes, the newspaper that once ran a headline ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts!’ in support of the British Union of Fascists
dislikes video games and takes every opportunity to say so.
In May ‘Daily Mail Links Modern Warfare 3 to London 7/7 Bombings’
was the sad tale we had to run.
“Comment was obtained from spokesperson for campaign group Mediawatch UK. Vivienne Pattison said, "I have concerns as these games are hyper-real and take place in a landscape we are familiar with. In light of the fact we have just had the 7/7 inquests, it is in incredibly poor taste.
Luckily, Activision commented on the situation to clear the air. "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
is a fictional action game aimed at mature adults and set in World War Three. The scenes in the game are entirely fictional and are not intended to recreate any historical events” it said.
Moving away from scaremongering by tabloids, we had to wind our way back to the PlayStation Network.
All kinds of noises were coming out of Sony, possibly the least tasteful from CEO Sir Howard Stringer.
He wrote a letter, a general letter. He addressed it to ‘Friends’. In it, he stated:
"As a result of what we discovered we notified you of the breach. Our investigation is ongoing, and we are upgrading our security so that if attacks like this happen again, our defenses will be even stronger."
But then he decided to compare the PSN downage to... the killer Tsunami that had struck Japan.
The extent of the actual Tsunami
“In the last few months, Sony has faced a terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But now we are facing a very man-made event – a criminal attack on us — and on you — and we are working with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies around the world to apprehend those responsible."