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PSN Still Down As Vacation Days Dwindle For Millions

PSN Still Down As Vacation Days Dwindle For Millions

Filed inside: Editorial

Dear Diary,

Day 4 and the PSN is still offline, with nary an ETA in sight.

I’m haunted by visions of tweets from PR teams claiming that the issue is “under investigation” and yet no information has made it way to my eager ears.

Xûr will have come and gone, with little chance for recompense. Though I hear that the snow will remain in Los Santos a bit longer.

Still, I find myself retreating further and further into myself as the hours drift away, attempting to connect remotely to my PS4 in the hopes that I could complete some bounties or slay a orcs. Thus far, I have been met with naught but an error screen for my efforts and dedication, and I fear the worst is somehow yet to come.

-The Reasonable Gamer

In all seriousness, though, we’re into day 4  of the outage touted by the Lizard Squad, a hacker group that has been dropping not-so-subtle hints about a possible attack on the two most prolific online gaming services available: Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.

It’s been difficult for many to find any solace in the justification for the attacks, levying blanket statements about the basement-dwelling, neckbeard-having nature of the aggressors, pegging them as affluent rich kids with too much time and money on their hands. After all, it does seem like it’d take a special kind of person with little remorse for their actions to take a time when many children and adults alike receive a fresh new console to enjoy and stomp on it so profusely, as many of these systems demand a mandatory system update before becoming functional at all.

Now, the hackers taking responsibility have reported some of the reasons for their attack in an interview with the Daily Dot, and though it does little to soften the blow, assuming that they are the force behind this (and not simply taking credit), they may be on to something.

Their primary reason, of course, was “for the lulz”, a disconcerting answer to say the least. These are people that have willfully caused despair among people during a time of year when it should be quite the opposite, feeding their grim sense of greed on the suffering of others. At the same time, they make claims that people can go without playing games for a few days, which—in a way—is a fairly reasonable thing to say, but the fact that the option has been rendered out of our hands is the crux of that issue.

Their other primary motivation, however, was to prove that an “incompetence” exists within Microsoft and Sony, and given the sprawling and immediate nature of these attacks, as well as the lingering damage, I’m beginning to think that on this particular angle, they might be right.

I’m no hacker. I can understand to a degree how a DDoS works. I also know that without some specialized equipment, or illicit access to other computers, you can’t simply sit down at your home computer and conduct a DDoS on a major service. And while a DDoS is a fairly reliable way to bring down a major network, the fact of the matter is that plenty of major services have been resilient to attacks in the past, but that Xbox Live and—even more severely—the PSN have been the targets of these attacks and crumbled almost instantly.

At the time of writing, Lizard Squad claims they are no longer attacking the services, and Xbox Live is back up and running, but the PSN continues to fail on almost all counts: an indicator of the possible existence of a major flaw in the network infrastructure that’s preventing Sony from restoring service. In other words exactly what Lizard Squad claimed to be trying to put on display. Without additional details from either party, we can’t know if this is the case, but even as a Sony fan from day one, my confidence is somewhat shaken. I’ve stuck with Sony through information leaks and outages, but at some point I have to ask why it’s so simple for a loosely organized group of twenty-somethings to bring down one of the most prolific online services from a multi-billion dollar company for the better part of a week.

I suppose the issue could as easily be compounded by the influx of new users with shiny PS4s trying to connect, some instability has always presented itself on holiday seasons in which online gaming was a component. But for some of us, the inability to connect has been so protracted that to only be informed that “our engineers are looking into it” is starting to wear thin.

A member of the Lizard Squad has even claimed,

“If I was working [at Microsoft or Sony] and had a big enough budget, I could totally stop these attacks. I’d buy more bandwidth, some specific equipment, and configure it correctly. It’s just about programming skill. With an attack of this scale, it could go up to the millions. But that’s really no problem for Sony and Microsoft.”

For now, we’ll have to settle for playing offline, using PCs, or if you’re lucky enough to have both, jumping onto your Xbox One. I prefer to look at this as a time to explore new options in gaming you may have overlooked in the past, so hopefully you’ll be able to find a way to satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank. Stay strong, friends. Hopefully this will all be over soon.

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Written by Ray Allaire -The Reasonable Gamer

Writer, game designer, and gaming analyst. Practitioner of all nerdy arts: Games, tabletop, TCG, and all. Twitter: @mateusrayje

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