updated 11:15 am EDT, Sat April 23, 2011
PSN switched off to test against security hack
Sony in an update on its days-long PlayStation Network outage said it had turned the network off deliberately to deal with a successful hack against its system. An "external intrusion" compromised both PSN and the Qriocity media services and pushed Sony to take them offline to conduct a investigation of what went wrong. The company also wanted to make sure the service was "smooth and secure" once it went back online, it said.
No estimate was given for when PSN would go back online.
It's not believed so far that the newer hack is a repeat of Anonymous' protest hacks. Sony had come under fire both for its anti-modification attitude and for its scorched earth policy of collecting information about anyone who had even visited George Hotz's website. The gaming giant eventually decided to settle the case early with its only real stipulation that Hotz not experiment with Sony products.
Going without PSN has been crippling for many PS3 and PSP gamers beyond just multiplayer gaming. Services like Netflix are unusually tied to PSN in order to run on the consoles. The outage will have essentially locked out virtually any online activity until the servers are back in use.