The PlayStation Network, only four days into 2016, has gone down, confirming what many gamers thought this morning when they turned their consoles on, The Verge reports. What’s worse is that Sony is not sure when the PlayStation Network will be back online.
“We’re aware that some users are having trouble accessing PSN,” tweeted @AskPlayStation today, in reaction to the network going offline. “Thanks for your patience as we investigate.”
— The Verge (@verge) January 4, 2016
The PlayStation Network online service is required for gamers to play their favorite games online, as well as for watching videos and visiting the PlayStation Store. This same problem occurred around Christmas 2015, including suffering network problems on Christmas Day. Today marks the first time the online service has gone down in 2016, and the first time any gaming console’s network has fallen offline in 2016.
Sony’s “Network Service Status” page revealed that the network issues were affecting all of the company’s platforms, including the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and web services.
“You may have some difficulty signing in or creating an account on PlayStation Network. Our engineers are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, and we thank you for your patience.”
— Tom Action (@TomMSFT) January 4, 2016
These kind of outages tend to be fairly common around the holiday season, due to the fact that millions have people have probably purchased new consoles and games, and everyone is jumping on the PlayStation Network all at once. Sony will have to get this problem fixed and squared away fairly quickly, since their CES press conference takes place on Tuesday, January 5, at 5 p.m. PST. Many gamers are expecting that Sony will dish out some new information on the PlayStation VR device, specifically its price and release date.
PlayStation Network is down, but we don't know why https://t.co/jw3Xx8RBT2
— 伊藤俊介BOT (@1toshunsuke) January 4, 2016
The PlayStation Network became Sony’s best entertainment service last year, though the service went down at the end of 2014, along with Xbox Live, falling victim of a hack by hacker group Lizard Squad. The outage lasted days, leaving PlayStation and Xbox owners unable to play games online or use the online services, both PSN and Xbox Live, for extended periods of time.
In December last year, the hacker group Phantom Squad threatened to shut down both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network on Christmas. The hacker group was allegedly going to release a series of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks — coordinated, massive chunks of falsified incoming server traffic — to crash their systems. Is Monday’s PSN network outage the delayed work of Phantom Squad?
“We are going to shut down Xbox Live and PSN this year on Christmas,” the hackers tweeted. “And we are going to keep them down for one week straight. #DramaAlert.”
Phantom Squad is believed to have no relation to Lizard Squad, and the group suggests that they have previously executed network outages, to a smaller degree, on gaming community servers and popular websites like Reddit.
“I get asked a lot on why we do this? Why do we take down PSN and Xbox Live?” the group said in another tweet. “Because cyber security does not exist.”
According to Kim Dotcom, the infamous Internet entrepreneur behind Megaupload, if Sony and Microsoft would simply update their servers, they would be able to avoid any impending attacks. Dotcom was instrumental in the network attack in 2014, preventing serious damage by promising the hackers 3,000 accounts on his encrypted Megaupload service.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) December 14, 2015
At this point, it is unclear what Sony or Microsoft are doing to keep their PSN and Xbox servers protected.
[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]