Mon, Dec 29, 2014 - Page 15 News List

PlayStation Network back online after alleged hack

Bloomberg

A model demonstrates a virtual reality headset made to work with PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita during the 2014 Tokyo Game Show at the Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Tokyo on Sept. 18.

Photo: EPA

Sony Corp has restored service for the PlayStation 4 game console on its PlayStation Network, according to a company statement on its Web site yesterday in Tokyo. The recovery came three days after Sony’s online gaming operation and Microsoft Corp’s Xbox Live service were hit by connection failures on Christmas Day.

Service was restored for Microsoft on Friday, while the PlayStation Network briefly returned online on Saturday for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita game consoles. Sony on Saturday said some users were experiencing difficulty logging into the network. Hackers calling themselves Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the disruptions.

Lizard Squad, which also took credit for an attack on Sony earlier this year, said on its Twitter account that it was behind the incidents. The group said it would “stop hitting” the services if users called attention to the hack by retweeting its statements.

The Interview, a comedy about a fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was shown in more than 300 locations on Christmas Day without incident, and was also available for rent and purchase at the Xbox store, a Sony Web site and Google Play, among others. It topped the charts of the Xbox store and YouTube’s movie store. The limited release brought in more than US$1 million in ticket sales on Christmas Day, Sony Pictures said.

US President Barack Obama blamed North Korea for orchestrating the attacks against Sony Pictures and vowed to respond. North Korea has said it does not know the identity of the hackers claiming responsibility for breaking into Sony’s computer network.

North Korea blamed the US for an Internet outage it experienced, calling Obama “reckless in words and deeds” and charging him with forcing the release of the movie.

“US President Obama is the chief culprit,” North Korea’s National Defense Commission said in a statement carried yesterday by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency. When Sony Pictures said it would withdraw the film, “Obama urged it to unconditionally screen the movie,” the statement said.

Sony games unit spokesman Satoshi Nakajima said the company was investigating whether the attack on the PlayStation Network was related to the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack.

E-mail and voicemail messages to David Dennis, a spokesman for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, were not returned.

By streaming the comedy via the Internet, Microsoft and Sony took the risk of provoking denial-of-service hacking attacks.

The hackers had warned that they intended to target the companies with such incidents on Christmas Day.

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