Sony’s PlayStation Network is in its second day of being inaccessible to users, and the outlook for getting the service back online isn’t very encouraging.
Since yesterday, users trying to access the service via the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, or the official Web site have received a message saying only that “an error” had occurred. Though Sony acknowledged the outage yesterday, the company hasn’t offered an explanation for what’s knocked the service offline.
“While we are investigating the cause of the network outage, we wanted to alert you that it may be a full day or two before we’re able to get the service completely back up and running,” the company posted to the official PlayStation blog.
The PlayStation Network is a way for users to download movies, TV shows, and games over the Web to a PlayStation. Access to the network is free, though users have to pay for some of the content.
There has been speculation that the outage could be caused by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Two weeks ago, the hacker group known as Anonymous took down several Sony Web sites in a DDoS attack in response to Sony’s legal battle against a PlayStation Network user known as “GeoHot.” The company sued the user, whose real name is George Hotz, for jailbreaking his PlayStation 3 and distributing the tools for others to do the same thing. Jailbreaking allows users to load unapproved and pirated applications onto the PS3.
Sony and Hotz reached a legal settlement April 11.
Anonymous has not claimed credit for the current outage and wouldn’t necessarily have reason to attack again since Sony settled with Hotz. But an observer of the IRC forum used by members of Anonymous speculated that the attackers likely behind this current Sony outage appear to have learned their methods from Anonymous’ activities of two weeks ago.
A Sony representative didn’t immediately have a comment on the matter.
We’re also waiting to hear back about how Sony plans on compensating paying members. While the PlayStation Network is a free service, PSN Plus is a subscription available to PSN users for $50 a year for early access to games and exclusive content.
Update 11:55 a.m. PT: Anonymous appears to be denying participation in any attack on PSN. A representative of the group posted an editorial to a news aggregation site saying it had no time to devise a new strategy against Sony and “entirely lost interest.