PlayStation Network still down, Sony rebuilding service from scratch

The Easter weekend failed to see the PlayStation Network recover from its downtime, which has now lasted five days.

Indeed, it may be a little longer before PS3 owners can play online again. In a new post on the PlayStation Blog, the company’s communications chief Patrick Seybold revealed Sony was basically rebuilding PSN from scratch to provide it with “additional security”:

“We sincerely regret that PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have been suspended, and we are working around the clock to bring them both back online. Our efforts to resolve this matter involve re-building our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure. Though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security.”

So there you go, folks: you’ve a little more time to really perfect that thumb-twiddling.

Meanwhile, what caused the PSN outage is still a mystery, but a new theory emerged today. A speculative VentureBeat report suggests that Sony has dismantled the PlayStation Network entirely to block a new program that let users enter a fake credit card number to download software. VentureBeat links to a Reddit post from a chap named ‘chesh420’, a moderator at a popular PS3 hacking site.

Here’s what he had to say (again, this is SPECULATIVE, so take it with a pinch of salt):

“The truth is, there was a new CFW (custom firmware) released known as Rebug. It essentially turns a retail console into a dev console (not fully, but gives you a lot of the same options that usually dev’s only have access to). Anyway, this new CFW was quickly figured out by 3rd parties (not Rebug) to give CFW users access to the PSN network again via the dev networks. With a little manipulation of the URL’s through a proxy server you could get your hacked console back online. Not that big of a deal, right? Well, it also turns out that some people over at NGU found out that you could provide fake CC# info and the authenticity of the information was never checked as you were on Sony’s private developer PSN network (essentially a network that Sony trusted). What happened next was extreme piracy of PSN content. Sony realizing the issue here shut down the network. […] Anyway, that’s the real reason for the PSN downtime.

[Via PlayStation Blog]

Photo via Dave Morris @ Flickr