6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

Summary: Although Amazon had a historically bad outage at about the same time, Amazon kept up a running commentary with its customers. As far as we can tell, Sony has not.

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"Honey, if you keep playing Infamous, you won't be able to get up in the morning!"

That was me, reminding my wife that we had an early appointment. I'm one of those very lucky geeks who has a wife who's kind, pretty, and likes video games.

See also: Sony PlayStation Network downtime continues; personal data in jeopardy?

See also: Sony PlayStation Network still down after three days

Denise especially likes games on the PS3. For some reason, she's shunned the Xbox 360 and only sometimes (usually when a new Mario comes out) acknowledges the little Wii's bare and unloved existence.

She is all about the Playstation 3. She even has her own controller. It's silver and it's not to be touched by "boy hands".

Fortunately, Denise likes single-player games, or she'd have been distraught about the ongoing Playstation Network outage, now entering Day Six.

She is, however, deeply concerned that her trophies won't update, but I've promised (and hope it's a promise I can keep) that when PSN comes back to life, all the trophies will sync up.

Sony has been disturbingly non-forthcoming. Here are 6 things about the Playstation outage that Sony isn't sharing with customers:

1. Has credit card and financial data been compromised?

This is the big one. Sony hasn't indicated what problems they're facing, and all we have to go on is this statement from the Sony blog:

I know you are waiting for additional information on when PlayStation Network and Qriocity services will be online. Unfortunately, I don’t have an update or timeframe to share at this point in time.

As we previously noted, this is a time intensive process and we’re working to get them back online quickly. We’ll keep you updated with information as it becomes available. We once again thank you for your patience.

2. What actually was the nature of the outage?

Was this an external attack, as BetaNews seemed to imply, or was it something having to do with their infrastructure?

3. What backup and archiving practices are in place at PSN?

Does this outage represent a problem that spans backup history, or is this a current situation where the worst case is they shut everything down and reload from backups?

4. If this is hack-based, have you notified any of your partner companies, who may have information stored on your network?

Sony, like Microsoft, offers a lot of downloadable titles and works with partner companies. At the very least, these partner companies have to load their games onto PSN. But beyond that, are there any network compromises that may filter into the hundreds of partner companies and are they being kept in the loop so they can protect themselves and others?

5. What about shared game data?

There are probably millions of Little Big Planet and LBP2 game shares online. Are those all backed up and secured, or do customers have a chance of losing their cherished more-jumpy-less-thinkie game?

6. What about trophies?

This one's for Denise and all the other Denises out there. Once PSN gets back online, will trophies sync back up?

Final thoughts

Anyone who's been in the tech community long enough understands that bleep happens. The main issue here with PSN and Sony is the lack of transparency.

See also: Seven lessons to learn from Amazon's outage

See also: Amazon Web Services outage: 'Detailed post mortem' coming

Although Amazon had a historically bad outage at about the same time, Amazon kept up a running commentary with its customers. As far as we can tell, Sony has not.

Point to Amazon.

Topics: Mobility, Amazon, Hardware, Networking, Outage

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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55 comments
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  • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

    Don't know if it's just a GROSS coincidence, but one of my credit cards (happened to be on file w/ps3) was just hit for about $550 in unauthorized purchases (1 on 4/22 & 1 on 4/23)..

    I HIGHLY recommend everyone keep an eye on your credit card/bank statements right now..
    liquidc0w
    • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

      @liquidc0w
      Thanks for the heads up. I will monitor my account closely now, as I have it attached to the psn network.
      Aeon Locke
    • "Right now"?

      @liquidc0w

      You should ALWAYS keep an eye on credit card and bank statements. There is ALWAYS a risk of unauthorized transactions. If you see something - ANYTHING, on your statements you do not understand or recognize, it is time to start asking questions, and maybe more.
      Economister
      • lifelock

        @Economister

        people think this is a joke, but it's worth it. they monitor my credit and send me bi-annually credit reports from the three major credit companies.
        KBot
      • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

        @Economister

        Agree wholeheartedly.. I have personally lived on the internet for years, so I?ve made it a point to be in tune with my financial statements. That is how I caught the charges quickly.
        liquidc0w
  • Message has been deleted.

    KBot
    • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

      @KBot

      I was wondering when this was going to be deleted. It is moot considering the person to which it was directed had his/her message removed.
      KBot
  • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

    Oh an BTW David, I am confident that the trophies will sync, so long as your wife doesn't lose the save information on the PS3. If this weren't the case than all those people who never had their consoles on the network before they got trophies would have to get them all again. That would truly be a broken online system.
    KBot
    • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

      One of my favorite games is Rock Band 3, and it reminds me that I am not eligible for the leaderboards if I'm not logged into the network while playing a song. For that reason alone, I haven't played RB3 since the outage (I like getting ranked, it's fun!), and yet there's no reason at all why I can't be playing other single-player, local games in the meantime. And yet I haven't been.

      But I don't see any reason why the trophies wouldn't continue to register on my local computer, to be synched up whenever I'm able to log on again. Sometimes it'll be a week or more between when I earn a trophy and when it shows up to others through the PSN, if I shut down without looking at my trophies or comparing my trophies to my friends (two activities that will initiate a sync).
      mizerock
    • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

      @KBot PSN has had trouble with trophies for quite awhile. If you did something like changing your email address on your account, you would loose all your trophys, your game couldn't sink and you would have to start over on a new profile. People have been complaining about this for years and Sony has yet to address the issue. Come to think of it I can't remember the last time Sony addressed an issue. They have never seemed to care about their customers.
      Greenman76
    • Message has been deleted.

      Linux Geek
      • Gee LG... Trolling again?

        @Linux Geek
        Got proof? Or is this some bovine fertilizer you came up with on your own? I'm thinking steer manure...

        You might also want to stop talking to yourself,,, People will look at you funny when you do.
        Wolfie2K3
  • No need for your post.

    @fukoff247 Reported. This is just uncalled for. IF you don't care about this news then don't read it and comment on it. Simple as that. Take your trolling and vulgar comments back to Engadget, because that kind of behavior doesn't fly here my friend.

    Oh and as for trophies, yes they matter. When someone spends hours, days or even months working at a trophy to display only to have it wiped out, it is very upsetting.
    Bates_
    • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

      @Bates_
      Have you never won anything in life??
      Hasam1991
      • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

        @Hasam1991

        Not the point, but i'm sure Bates_ has. I have won plenty of things in non-game stuff, but that doesn't mean that i want my time wasted because my trophies/achievements/medals were wiped out. You ever read a book, or see a movie, or even play a game with a completely horrible ending and wonder why you just wasted that much time on it? Same goes for awards in games being wiped out.
        KBot
      • @Hasam1991

        @Hasam1991 Dude what is your problem? Bates makes a valid point - online or "in real life" there was still time, energy, and commitment put into the trophies regardless if you or I do not see the value to it, Bates and others do and it is their time to spend as they choose.

        So lighten up and put a sock in it.
        athynz
      • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

        @KBot

        You shouldn't be playing the game just for Public Appearance, I guess to those who care about trophy's will learn from this. play a game for the Game not to impress people, or make a life about it. But Again if you got the trophy before, the next time you touch that game you will get it at the very first possible chance. If leader boards are lost, then this is the chance to prove yourselves. relax wait it out and stop the whining! BTW you should be backing your PS3 up regularly Fools!!
        Ez_Customs
    • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

      @Bates_

      I can see the point here but um if you can't get that trophy again without trying then that trophy is a Fake and you didn't deserve it in the first place. Chance winnings mean nothing. But Trophy Sync shoudl be cool and reliable, we all have the trophy's on our systems Stop talkign abotu syncing K!! It is wasted Text
      Ez_Customs
  • LOL!

    @ Hasam1991
    Every morning I wake up is a WIN for me. How about you? Is the life of a troll rewarding?
    Bates_
    • RE: 6 important things about the ongoing PlayStation Network outage that Sony won't reveal

      @Bates_ is winning lol sry had to do it
      KBot