Six months ago, Sony was the recipient of a massive hacking attack that took down a number of its services including the Playstation Network (PSN). Millions of frustrated gamers were plunged into a gaming Dark Age when the network that allows gamers to play online against hundreds of other gamers was switched off.
At the time, the major gripe that gamers had was not that the network was down but the lack of information, or, more specifically, the proliferation of non-information via the Playstation blog; posts that basically said: 'We are down, we are working on it, we'll get back to you'.
After an eternity in game time the security breech was sealed, the big bosses apologised and they gave us flowers (ok, free games and extra content) but the message was well received; we are sorry, it won't happen again.
On Wednesday, Playstation blog released a statement from Sony's chief information officer informing us all that they have 'detected' another attack and has suspended 93,000 accounts as a security precaution.
After what Sony put gamers through earlier this year, I cannot help but see this latest attack and Sony's response as somewhat similar to a lover confessing they have had an affair. 'it was a third party server, the information they have is useless, this is less sophisticated than the LuzSec attack' sounds like 'I was drunk, he came onto me, I was thinking about you the whole time'.
One of the reasons cited for the PSN being down for the best part of three months was so Sony could 'review and upgrade all of [the] online security systems in the face of these unprecedented cyber-attacks', so this latest incident is, frankly, embarrassing.
But it is not all doom and gloom, Sony should be commended for being up-front with their latest security failure and although 93,000 accounts equates to a lot of pissed off gamers, overall this figure is relatively low. What Sony need to worry about is the kick in the pants that accompanies this news. Returning to my guilty lover metaphor, this new attack undermines the trust gamers put in Sony to protect their information.
If this incident grows then Playstation customers may lose all loyalty they have to the Playstation brand and flock to the open arms of Xbox or the wafting embrace of the new cloud based game system, OnLive. Fortunately for Sony things have not got that bad yet. Unfortunately for Sony, I am now questioning how much I trust you with my information so tonight you will have to sleep on the sofa.