Here I sit, day 20 of the great PSN outage of 2011 – known as the CollaPS3 on some internet circles. Portal 2 has been itching for some co-op action, and I’ve been unable to satisfy its cravings since almost the day I bought it. Not to mention it’s holding up the official 4P review!
To be fair, it’s not all Sony’s fault. They really can’t help someone breaking into their otherwise secure servers with malicious intent. Hackings happen all the time: the sheer magnitude of this one is what’s causing it to get so much attention. PSN had over 20 million accounts at the time of the hacking – 20 million! That’s 20 million people’s personal information and even credit card information compromised. This is a big deal…one of the biggest breaches of personal information ever, and it’s rightfully getting attention from the mainstream media, the FBI, and even Congress.
But we can’t blame Sony for taking PSN down this long. Any good business would want to make sure all their security holes are sealed up, and make sure everything is stable and secure before relaunching the service. I actually applaud Sony for not rushing the PSN relaunch – doing so would open the door to another possible security vulnerability or compromise.
No, Sony’s issue is the way they’ve treated their customers through all this. When they first found out about this compromise, there should have been a press release and an email to all PSN members warning of the possible theft of personal information. Instead, we got a notice that “PSN was down for maintenance.” It wasn’t until a full week after PSN went down that they finally admitted the network had been hacked and personal information stolen. In that week, there could have been a rash of identity theft and credit card fraud that would have possibly gone unnoticed. As the days went on, information barely trickled out of the company’s blog, save for a vague “Some services will be restored this week” over a week ago – and a subsequent “Oops, sorry, we lied!” when that week was over.
We’ve been assured that PSN will be up and fully functioning by May 31st. We’ve also been promised free content for our inconvenience, including a month of Playstation Plus. That’s a great start, and the recent announcement that Sony will offer all those whose accounts were compromised a year of identity theft monitoring is welcome indeed. They’ve also offered several tips to monitor your credit and such. So Sony really is trying to make things right as best as they can – we really can’t blame them for not trying. Sure, they’ve failed miserably at communicating with their customers over the past few weeks of this outage, but they’ve assured us that final testing is underway and the end is almost in sight. Hopefully we’ll at least have online gaming functionality by the end of this week.
Which is a good thing, because I want to play Portal 2, damn it.