Tag - Sony Online Entertainment
Sony has sold off Sony Online Entertainment, an in-house game development studio and publisher known for Everquest, Planetside 2, and other massively multiplayer online games. The sale was confirmed today by the company and places the studio in the hands of investment management firm Columbus Nova, though as part of the transaction terms, it has to lose the Sony branding and be renamed Daybreak Game Company.
Some of the most popular gaming services are reportedly under attack as a series of distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) has been underway since last week. Shacknews reports that Blizzard, Grinding Gear Games, PlayStation Network, Riot and Sony Online Entertainment have all been undergoing a series of attacks leading to connection instabilities and service failures. While the attack was initially thought to be limited to a few companies, it's been discovered that several additional gaming services and websites have been targeted as far back as August 18 by a hacking group.
Sony's chief security officer Philip Reitinger warned late Tuesday that there had been a "massive" account cracking attempt on the PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment. While it failed against the wide majority, the attempt successfully cracked the login info for about 93,000 accounts, 60,000 of which were PSN. All of those accounts were locked down to prevent a hijack, Sony said.
Japanese electronics giant Sony on Thursday announced a 15.5 billion yen ($199 million) quarterly loss due to the natural disaster that hit northeastern Japan earlier this year, the PS3 security breach and falling TV prices. It also lowered its profit forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2012 to 60 billion yen ($769 million), down from 80 billion yen ($1 billion) it expected in May. The revised earnings would still mean profits for the company.
A second lawsuit over PSN hacks this week has accused Sony of cutting jobs whose absence may have worsened or contributed to the hack. A "substantial percentage" of Sony Online Entertainment, including some in the network operations center, were let go just two weeks before the April 19 incident that hit both SOE and PSN. Sony lowered its safeguards through job cuts just as the attacks came in, the lawsuit alleged.
(Update 2: PSN now back) Sony on Saturday night said it was rolling out the promised mandatory new firmware for PS3s to get ready for the return of the PlayStation network. The 3.61 update pushes a password change and also requires that password changes for PS3 users can only take place on the PS3 itself. Those who've never used a PS3 to get content will still get an e-mail with a one-time link to change the password.
Sony in an update said that its PlayStation Network restoration would take longer than expected. The company was still in final testing but said "additional comprehensive system checks" were needed before it went back up. The company explained that the estimate given at its media conference in Japan of a week-long process hadn't factored in the then-unknown SOE breach and needed extra time.
Sony might offer a cash reward to whoever could turn in those who hacked into the PlayStation Network. A slip from sources said Sony was actively discussing the prospect of a bounty and, if it went ahead, would team with regional police to coordinate the payout. The electronics giant hadn't settled on a reward as a course of action and would need top-level approval from Sony headquarters to go ahead, AllThingsD said.
A pair of unnamed Anonymous members alleged on Friday that the PlayStation Network hack was the fault of a splinter group from their team. While the larger group has publicly denied involvement, the two told the FT that one or a small number of those backing OpSony, the campaign to punish Sony for limiting and suing over PS3 jailbreaks, decided to go further than everyone else. One of the two claimed to have seen details of an exploit posted shortly before the hack went through.
Sony in a statement given to the Congressional hearing on the PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment hacks implicated Anonymous in the attack. Consumer Product head Kaz Hirai claimed that a file had been deliberately left behind in the attack on SOE that was named "Anonymous" and had the activist hacker coalition's slogan "We are Legion" inside. While not directly accusing Anonymous, it made a link back to the earlier protest campaign and implied strongly that Anonymous was to blame.