Sony CEO: "Free" PSN Wasn't a Likely Target

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Sony CEO: "Free" PSN Wasn't a Likely Target

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Sony may not have thought the PSN was a target for hackers due to its nature as a free service.

Sony did its users a solid in this console generation by making its online service, the PlayStation Network, completely free. In light of the recent PSN hack attack that took Sony's servers down for more than three weeks, CEO Howard Stringer seems a little caught off-guard that his company was helping gamers out with a free service which then got hacked.

"We have a network that gave people services free," Stringer told Bloomberg. "It didn't seem like the likeliest place for an attack."

He added that Sony believed it had "good, robust security." Even if true, Stringer's comment seems to hint that Sony may have had a mindset of "we scratch your backs, you scratch ours" when it came to PSN security because the service was free.

However, at the same time Sony was removing features like Other OS, and suing George "GeoHot" Hotz, known for cracking the PlayStation 3's rootkey. This set off a flame of criticism, notably from Anonymous, which launched an operation against Sony but claimed it had nothing to do with the server intrusion that brought down the PSN.

It was definitely a jerk move to hack into the PSN and possibly remove personal information (which hasn't been confirmed yet), but that's the way of the internet even without Sony inflaming people's opinions against it in these various ways. People will hack into anything nowadays, so if you taunt them it's all but assured. All we can do is hope that Sony learned its lesson and will do everything it can to prevent future attacks.

Source: Bloomberg

Permalink

I...kind of agree. If my company offered a service for free that other companies make you pay out the ass for, I would expect anyone wanting to harm the company to look elsewhere.

Is it so hard to resist the urge to hack things? I mean, hell, the latest Pokemon game was supposed to be hack proof and someone put the ROM up within two hours or something. <.< >.>

Well it's not like those of us using PSN went and hacked it, Howard. I'm a bit confused by your statements here. Nobody using PSN said "By golly, this free online play is great. But you know what would be more fun? Hacking it!"

Kopikatsu:
I...kind of agree. If my company offered a service for free that other companies make you pay out the ass for, I would expect anyone wanting to harm the company to look elsewhere.

Is it so hard to resist the urge to hack things? I mean, hell, the latest Pokemon game was supposed to be hack proof and someone put the ROM up within two hours or something. <.< >.>

I'm with you on that, if I provided my service free of charge I would think that people would leave me alone and not attack me for doing so. Now that it's happened, what if Sony starts charging for their service? Are they going to get attacked for NOT being free? Sounds like a double standard to me.

This is a good shout from Sony.

Whoever did this gained no favour with me. I think hackers are idiots who do are doing it for no more than notoriety, proven by, hiding behind the anonymity and yet identity of a group.

They weren't trying to bring down the network, they were trying to access personal information. Sony shut down the PSN all by itself!

Stop whining and do something sony?

Sony stored personal information so they could have monthly charges go through automatically.

That was the issue. Once you decide to store data instead of letting it be stored locally, you run into this problem. You made yourself a target with stored data.

No one wanted to shut you down, they wanted money.

It seems as if Sony is playing the "Why are you picking on me? I didn't do anything wrong" card. Maybe they need a refresher course on their OtherOS feature they took away, the crack that brought it back, and the subsequent lawsuit.

Kopikatsu:
I...kind of agree. If my company offered a service for free that other companies make you pay out the ass for, I would expect anyone wanting to harm the company to look elsewhere.

True but when you target an individual hacker that has a lot of sympathy with the community and come across as the type of huge douchebags that hackers hate.

I think it goes without saying that Sony isn't going to easily let this happen again.

Aku_San:
I think it goes without saying that Sony isn't going to easily let this happen again.

Unless thry missed something, then it's going to fold as fast as a card house in a tornado.

Sony, you are digging your own grave, stick-up to the fact that you failed to provide the protection should've been in place regardless what the "risks" may have seen to be. This is the internet (World Wide Web) anything and everything will try to compromise your security

Am I missing something? People on the free PSN can still buy stuff from the PSN store...how did it not seem like a likely target?

or am I missing the point entirely?

Free services get hacked all the time (Gmail and Hotmail for example are contantly under siege). There is no way anyone running any sort of online service would be unaware of this, this is basic spin doctoring.

Also the "free" online was a business decision not some sort of charitable act, it was heavily touted as one of the benefits of buying a PS3, and a key way of distinguishing it from the Xbox.

Kopikatsu:

Is it so hard to resist the urge to hack things? I mean, hell, the latest Pokemon game was supposed to be hack proof and someone put the ROM up within two hours or something. <.< >.>

See that? To me, that sounds like a challenge.

Like when my college told me that I couldn't get around their system to stop me from getting onto the escapist in my lunch break. Me and a friend had a look around, wrote a batch file that broke it and showed it to them.

People like a challenge.

I never thought that PSN was hacked because it was free. Still don't. They were hacked because of the whole issue with Geohot; I'm not saying he caused it, but it's the issue that Sony was actively prosecuting people who hacked their PS3s that they bought and legally owned.

I don't agree with hacking, but suing a person for tampering with an item they own is kind of fucked up. Maybe if Sony could prove illegal activity was done from the console, but simply because it was tampered is just silly.

They got hacked because they kept pissing people off by taking away features such as ps2 backwards compatibility and mainly other OS feature. You don't make a console that does everything then start taking the best pieces out.

While that's all well and good, some people did pay for PSN+

and it's likely the stunt was just a hate crime anyway

Regardless, there's really no excuse for bad security, and this is a very large excuse
I will agree in that this scale of attack isn't possibly something you could forsee, so most of the blame still goes on the hackers

Sorry, but that statement just begs for symphathy.

Can people please stop repeating this stupid urban myth? "suing a person for tampering with an item they own is kind of fucked up"
They didn't Sue him for that did they? hundreds of people have swapped fans, exchanged heat sinks etc etc, and they couldnt give it more than a passing care.
the point is that geohot tampered with his console - and then released the code.
For a comparison - If you owned a ford car - and someone suddenly showed the world how to make a skeleton key for free. Sure their reasoning is "now no one has to pay extortionate ford prices to get their master keys cut". And thats true. On the down side - now anyone can steal your car.

If all Geohot wanted to do was tamper with HIS console - he should have kept it to himself. For an example that people on here might care about, its the difference between learning to draw by copying a comic book artist (ie. drawing at home and tracing etc) and selling traces of their work as your own and making money off their talent and work (Rob Granito springs to mind).

Mark Davison:
Can people please stop repeating this stupid urban myth? "suing a person for tampering with an item they own is kind of fucked up"
They didn't Sue him for that did they? hundreds of people have swapped fans, exchanged heat sinks etc etc, and they couldnt give it more than a passing care.
the point is that geohot tampered with his console - and then released the code.
For a comparison - If you owned a ford car - and someone suddenly showed the world how to make a skeleton key for free. Sure their reasoning is "now no one has to pay extortionate ford prices to get their master keys cut". And thats true. On the down side - now anyone can steal your car.

On a little note, Ford is a terrible example as most of their keys will at least unlock most other cars... Just as an aside there :P.

But I would also argue that the comparison still isn't the same at all. Yes Geohot releasing the code, while others tampering with the fan is on a very different level, but the reason he did it was as Sony canceled a service that some people used. It's effectively false advertisement to say a key feature is no longer allowed after you have sold the product to someone.
Yes not many people used it, but some people will have bought it for that purpose solely, and at the end of it were left with a glorified doorstop. If people were willing to trade install another OS and not get PSN access, then that's their choice.
Admittedly I'm not completely well read on it so maybe there was some fact that actually compromised their security in allowing it, but to me, it just looks like Sony crapping on the consumer a bit...

Duh.

If people hacked into a system and extracted from it tons of personal information including, allegedly, credit card numbers, they most definately weren't trying to target the "free PSN." In fact, we all know that the whole of PSN went down simply because Sony was trying to protect the network as soon as the hacks were discovered.

Why would he write this statement? It only seems to add to the belief that the execs at Sony were foolish to assume they were protected by their consumer policy. What's the point?

Jammy2003:

Mark Davison:
Can people please stop repeating this stupid urban myth? "suing a person for tampering with an item they own is kind of fucked up"
They didn't Sue him for that did they? hundreds of people have swapped fans, exchanged heat sinks etc etc, and they couldnt give it more than a passing care.
the point is that geohot tampered with his console - and then released the code.
For a comparison - If you owned a ford car - and someone suddenly showed the world how to make a skeleton key for free. Sure their reasoning is "now no one has to pay extortionate ford prices to get their master keys cut". And thats true. On the down side - now anyone can steal your car.

On a little note, Ford is a terrible example as most of their keys will at least unlock most other cars... Just as an aside there :P.

But I would also argue that the comparison still isn't the same at all. Yes Geohot releasing the code, while others tampering with the fan is on a very different level, but the reason he did it was as Sony canceled a service that some people used. It's effectively false advertisement to say a key feature is no longer allowed after you have sold the product to someone.
Yes not many people used it, but some people will have bought it for that purpose solely, and at the end of it were left with a glorified doorstop. If people were willing to trade install another OS and not get PSN access, then that's their choice.
Admittedly I'm not completely well read on it so maybe there was some fact that actually compromised their security in allowing it, but to me, it just looks like Sony crapping on the consumer a bit...

I don't get the impression that the reason EgoHot was cracking Sony's code is the same reason you think it was. I get the feeling that he's an attention whore and would crack a fart on a crowded subway platform if he though doing so would get him some attention.

dogstile:

Kopikatsu:

Is it so hard to resist the urge to hack things? I mean, hell, the latest Pokemon game was supposed to be hack proof and someone put the ROM up within two hours or something. <.< >.>

See that? To me, that sounds like a challenge.

Like when my college told me that I couldn't get around their system to stop me from getting onto the escapist in my lunch break. Me and a friend had a look around, wrote a batch file that broke it and showed it to them.

People like a challenge.

...I don't get it. When people say 'You can't do this' or 'This is impossible', I don't get an uncontrollable urge to do it anyway/prove them wrong...

Kopikatsu:

dogstile:

Kopikatsu:

Is it so hard to resist the urge to hack things? I mean, hell, the latest Pokemon game was supposed to be hack proof and someone put the ROM up within two hours or something. <.< >.>

See that? To me, that sounds like a challenge.

Like when my college told me that I couldn't get around their system to stop me from getting onto the escapist in my lunch break. Me and a friend had a look around, wrote a batch file that broke it and showed it to them.

People like a challenge.

...I don't get it. When people say 'You can't do this' or 'This is impossible', I don't get an uncontrollable urge to do it anyway/prove them wrong...

Well damn, I'm glad you don't. I however, do. So do plenty of other hackers out there. The difference being is while I would only do it to help a system, their are plenty of people who don't hold my morals.

Cause you know, even though your service was free we're totally going to ignore your oppression of the gaming market and to those who just want linux on their PS3.

Right Sony, you keep telling yourselves that. Maybe one day you'll get your heads out of your asses and become the once-awesome company who created the PS2, but until that happens I'm still boycotting you.

Free? Yeah right, like they didn't expect revenue from PSN? That's so lame ....

Mark Davison:
Can people please stop repeating this stupid urban myth? "suing a person for tampering with an item they own is kind of fucked up"
They didn't Sue him for that did they? hundreds of people have swapped fans, exchanged heat sinks etc etc, and they couldnt give it more than a passing care.
the point is that geohot tampered with his console - and then released the code.
For a comparison - If you owned a ford car - and someone suddenly showed the world how to make a skeleton key for free. Sure their reasoning is "now no one has to pay extortionate ford prices to get their master keys cut". And thats true. On the down side - now anyone can steal your car.

If all Geohot wanted to do was tamper with HIS console - he should have kept it to himself. For an example that people on here might care about, its the difference between learning to draw by copying a comic book artist (ie. drawing at home and tracing etc) and selling traces of their work as your own and making money off their talent and work (Rob Granito springs to mind).

That's not what happened at all.
Hotts was restoring a feature. That was the purpose of the firmware he released.

It was a sales pitch for the PS3, saying "you can install Linux and use these as computers!"

A whole bunch of people bought PS3s and never played a single game on them.
For 4 years, nobody even ATTEMPTED to hack the PS3.
Every other console, ever, in history, was hacked within a year.

Suddenly, Sony said, "OH HEY, you can no longer use those computers you bought from us."

Maybe is the wording, maybe I am looking at it wrong, but it kinda sounds like Sony is shocked that "we" (the collective gaming community which can include hackers) allowed something like this to happen... sorta like neglecting to form a neighbourhood watch patrol.
I fear these type of comments by Sony will become the foundation of a pay service.

-Hey we scratch your back you scratch ours
-Dude, you stabbed me in the back while you were supposed to be scratching that corner I can't reach
-Look what you made me do, now I have to start wearing chainmail
-You know, that new shiny chainmail don't come cheap. Time to let me take a dive in your wallet

HankMan:
They weren't trying to bring down the network, they were trying to access personal information. Sony shut down the PSN all by itself!

Which is a lot like saying they weren't trying to close the nightclub, they were just trying to take a big shit in the middle of the dance floor. Management shut down the club all by itself!

JDKJ:

HankMan:
They weren't trying to bring down the network, they were trying to access personal information. Sony shut down the PSN all by itself!

Which is a lot like saying they weren't trying to close the nightclub, they were just trying to take a big shit in the middle of the dance floor. Management shut down the club all by itself!

That's an.... apt comparison
I guess
image

Kakashi on crack:
Cause you know, even though your service was free we're totally going to ignore your oppression of the gaming market and to those who just want linux on their PS3.

Right Sony, you keep telling yourselves that. Maybe one day you'll get your heads out of your asses and become the once-awesome company who created the PS2, but until that happens I'm still boycotting you.

Has anyone ever stopped and asked why Sony felt it necessary to remove the OtherOS feature? Perhaps it's code was interferring with something? Perhaps developers were having problems with some aspect of it? Perhaps Sony feared that hackers were using PS3 banks as super computers to try and take over the world?

I admit to being extremely disapointed in Sony about this whole ordeal but I wouldn't trade my backwards compatible 80gig PS3 for some piece of shit Xbox that would most likely implode in six months. And a Wii would be like trying to ride a 6 yr old girl's My Little Pony tricycle to me.

And so fucking what the PSN was down for 3 weeks. All the best games in my opinion are not online compatible. Fallout, Elderscrolls, Demon Souls & Red Dead Redemption (although there is online features to both the storyline is much better for RDR and Demon Souls is harder when you can't spam for items/souls).

Finally, if you were stupid enough to enter your personal information into the PSN then you deserved to have it stolen. I don't enter any personal info into any kind of online storage. That goes for passwords, email accounts, bank acount and credit card numbers, my browsers are cleaned every 2 hrs. Hell I don't even sign my credit cards so the woman at the supermarket has to ask me for I.D.

Kopikatsu:
I mean, hell, the latest Pokemon game was supposed to be hack proof and someone put the ROM up within two hours or something. <.< >.>

Lol. I beat the newest pokemon game 6 months before it came out, there was a partial translate out waaaaaaaay before game even hit the states.

Kopikatsu:
I...kind of agree. If my company offered a service for free that other companies make you pay out the ass for, I would expect anyone wanting to harm the company to look elsewhere.

Is it so hard to resist the urge to hack things? I mean, hell, the latest Pokemon game was supposed to be hack proof and someone put the ROM up within two hours or something. <.< >.>

I agree with you.

I just wish they'd stop hacking things. Gone past my nerves. Now ever time a see a story involving something being hacked I get angry immediately. At this point I'd be hard-pressed to ever sympathize with a hacker.

edit: sorry seems like you're getting a tonne of quotes filling up your inbox.

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