Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) and the Sony Entertainment Network had another outage Sunday from outside sources trying to “overwhelm” Sony’s servers. Sony stated the outage is now ended, and no personal information was accessed, which unfortunately occurred on PSN in mid-April 2011and took services out for over a month.
Outages like this one are nothing new, but this latest one added an unfortunate twist to it.
Sony sent the following tweet around 11:30 EST when the outage reportedly ended late Sunday night.
@PlayStation: Network service is currently returning for PS3 and PS Vita users, but you may experience slowness or login issues as the network stabilizes
The group claiming responsibility for this outage has also hacked Blizzard Entertainment and Riot Games. Unfortunately, this group also reportedly sent a tweet that took this crisis to another level by claiming explosives were on board the plane that Sony Online Entertainment chief John Smedley was flying on, which prompted some serious security actions and flight re-routing.
We typically expect a company to throw rewards at us when we cannot use a paid service or experience bad performance much like getting a free Redbox coupon for a long wait at the local McDonald’s drive-thru. We expect it and it usually appeases our sensibilities, but will we see it this time? Probably not. It always depends on the outage’s length, which thankfully seems to be very short. During Sony’s previous outage, I suggested that Sony PSN/SEN users and subscribers should get a new game where several venerable PlayStation characters fought against an antagonistic group known as “The Hackers” in an epic game or in an interactive video on Sony’s company website. This fictional conflict would reflect the main conflict without the mysterious details. Subscribers could also learn about the current situation, preventative measures, and, most importantly, immediate alternatives to their omitted gaming experiences.
Sony’s communication to users could reflect on these approaches for a better customer experience or more insightful experience. Video games can be an entertaining escape, but when addressing this media seriously, I suppose it all comes down to who you trust. If a downed game service can rip someone’s world apart, then we should question personal priorities and the value being put into this media.
Will online security become a thing of the past, or will media companies find a way to reign in these hackers?