Latest news and rumors surrounding the PSN outage

[ I'm still following the story about Sony's Playstation Network outage. You can catch up with the story so far by reading this morning's post. ]

Sony updated its customers on the status of the 6-day (so far) PSN outage this morning. If no news is good news then I guess we're doing OK because the entirety of the update was this:

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.

Crusty old sayings aside, things are just getting worse. According to an article that PC World ran, Sony spokesperson Satoshi Fukuoka says they're not sure if personal info or credit card numbers have been compromised. Suddenly the whole debacle looks a lot more serious, and a lot more personal, to those of use with credit card numbers attached to our PSN accounts. Customers are left to wait and wonder if they should be calling their banks and canceling their cards.

Then late this afternoon another story appeared. This one comes from a moderator of a PSN fansite. This person speculates that Sony shut down the PSN in response to a custom firmware that was allowing anyone to purchase content from the service via test credit card info. This firmware essentially turns your PS3 into a dev unit (as far as the service was concerned, anyway) and of course you don't test purchasing systems using live credit cards (at least, not until the very end of the test cycle). Somehow using this custom firmware and some URL tweaking they were using their faux-dev consoles to buy content.

You can read the entire post on reddit and judge for yourself. The author admits what he is saying is all speculation but the pieces seem to fit together. On the other hand, how much was Sony losing to these custom firmware users that would warrant this kind of down time and damage to their reputation?

And that's where we stand now. Kotaku has put together a PSN Outage FAQ of sorts, and in it they relate rumors that PSN is coming back on line today in Japan and tomorrow (4/26) in North America. They don't source the rumors though.

At this point all I really want to know is whether or not I should be canceling my credit card. It seems to me that Sony needs to make it their number one priority to clear up the question of whether our personal info and credit cards numbers have been compromised.

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