VGW Roundtable: How has Sony handled the PSN breach?

1137ffca124d41d1 PSN.larger VGW Roundtable: How has Sony handled the PSN breach?Practically overnight, the Sony PSN blackout and corresponding security breach has become a trending topic worldwide. It has garnered the attention of Senators and major news outlets like CNN. The leak of personal information has prompted some gamers to question their allegiance, and has prompted large corporations to question their existing security measures. Suffice to say, this is a big deal. While we tried to remain as unbiased as possible in our extensive coverage yesterday, it’s time once again to let our staff voice their unfiltered opinions. And this week, Sony is in the cross-hairs.

Got an opinion to share with us? Leave it on Facebook or jot it down in the comments below this article.


Chris Totten 300x255 VGW Roundtable: How has Sony handled the PSN breach?

Chris Totten, Staff Writer

I have a PSN account, though to my recollection I haven’t used it to store any accounts with my current information. THAT BEING SAID I definitely called my bank to get a new card issued and plan on following some additional security measures just in case. While merely being on the internet can allow a great many people to get information on you, this is definitely a huge breach of trust Sony has committed against its customers.

It somewhat terrifies me to see that they are issuing a statement 6 days after the supposed breach. In the meantime, tons of people could have already had their information used in an unsavory manner while Sony tried to make sure they themselves looked good. This is really unforgivable.


Brian Shea 300x247 VGW Roundtable: How has Sony handled the PSN breach?

Brian Shea, Associate Editor

I honestly think that Sony is not the main bad guy on this. Anonymous is. Sony goes on and protects their intellectual property by suing GeoHot, and this bunch of zeros need to justify their existence and start a hacking campaign. I know they’ve done some good in the past, as their supporters are so quick to remind me each and every time I talk about them on Twitter, but at this point, they are nothing but digital terrorists that should be pursued by the law as such. That could be kind of hard, however, since as the name implies, they aren’t publicly known.

Sony isn’t completely in the clear. They were taken down and instead of alerting their customers that their personal information may have been left unprotected, they played it off as if it was simply an inconvenient service outage. Gamers have every right to be furious. Do they deserve some type of reimbursement? Not really. PSN is a free service (for most) and outages will occur at times, particularly when they are under attack. At most, they owe their fans an apology and maybe some type of free download from the PSN store when it comes back up. Maybe they’ll let everyone in on the inFamous 2 beta. Who knows? I highly doubt it will be any type of monetary award… unless of course this personal information compromise leads to a lawsuit. Then you may see some money coming your way.


Kevin Hummons 300x274 VGW Roundtable: How has Sony handled the PSN breach?

Kevin Hummons, Staff Writer

It’s not the hacking that started this insanity, it’s everything else.

As far as Geohot and Anonymous and their involvement (directly or indirectly) I shrug. Geohot and Anonymous only have as much power and influence as we the community and journalists give them. Geohot can crack the PS3 all he wants, that’s not what causes hackers to run rampant with Sony’s stuff. It’s the massive hurricane that came afterward. I believe that the case was very important to follow but alongside it came a lot of unnecessary paparazzi reporting style bullshit. From that came the giant wave of immature crap that just spread like wildfire.

Imagine, if you will, that nobody reports on Geohot’s YouTube videos, imagine that all everybody reports is the straight up court case dealings. Imagine that no one reports Anonymous’ empty threats. Do you really think anybody would care? Do you think things would have gotten this blown up? I don’t. I could totally be wrong but I sincerely believe we as a community fund this behavior to some extent. We wake sleeping dragons with unnecessary BS.

BUT, I’m ranting, at the end of the day I definitely agree this will become just another thing. It’s not gonna make or break Sony or PSN. Every year Sony has one massive PR nightmare and they’ve never been shaken before.


Jen Bosier VGW Roundtable: How has Sony handled the PSN breach?

Jen Bosier, News Editor

It saddens me that this entire situation has gotten so out of hand. I absolutely believe GeoHot should have been held accountable by law, and that Anonymous needs to be held accountable as well. The petty side of me would love for nothing better than to see some punk kid get sent to big boy prison to be made an example of. But really, to me, this entire situation has taken a sharp turn beyond focusing on the catalyst of the issue and who is or is not to blame. What is now most important is how Sony is handling this debacle and, more importantly, just how much a public eye will now be cast upon them.

Most people vaguely remember the Xbox Live outage of 2007. It is mentioned, on occasion, but most people really have to think to remember. I believe that, with time, so too would this incident have blown over for Sony. It would have been a source of ire for the coming months, and then, by next year or the year after certainly, it would have become a vague memory. But then Senator Dick Blumenthal sent a letter to the CEO of Sony America.

For those unfamiliar, the Connecticut (D) senator is a big into personal privacy, and consumer protection. Both of these issues relate directly to the PSN issue. Which means it is entirely possible that the good senator may decide to turn this into an actual platform/fighting point, and at that point, the national news media steps in. The second that happens, this entire issue is going to turn into one of national interest. And such issues take an awfully long time to go away.

The entire announcement from PSN wreaks of “let’s consult the legal team ten times over before we say anything.” While I completely understand this is a necessity, I feel like this may come off as lollygagging, and that is something other lawyers, and point-making senators tend to jump on. I don’t want to claim that Sony’s sky is falling, but I think the company may certainly be in for some tough questions.


About Jason Evangelho

Jason is VGW’s founder, publisher, and longtime podcaster, writer, and “solopreneur” who is driven by the classic Jello Biafra quote “Don’t hate the media. Become the media.” You can hear him ranting alongside the VGW Collective in the site’s official podcast, “Unlimited Ammo.”


  1. Interesting perspectives.

    I have a couple of thoughts as well:

    1) Sony took WAY too long to mention the potential breach of privacy. This should rightly bite them hard in whatever arena the backlash occurs (media, legal system, political pontification, etc)

    2) Why ISN’T the mainstream media talking about this? I mean, if they can take time to harp on the fictional dangers of Bioware’s “rape simulators,” you’d think they could at least find some interest in a potentially massive security breach with commercial, legal, and political ramifications…

    3) People should tone down the rhetoric. Attacking the PSN is hardly “terrorism,” and those kinds of overstatements reek of whitewhine.com — it’s a gaming and entertainment portal. Sure, it’s an inconvenience, and the security/privacy issues are real. But let’s be realistic here- the world WILL go on.

    • Brian Shea says:

      I was referring mainly to the exposing of personal information, not the outage of PSN. I still see your point though.

  2. I can’t believe the ignorance of some of these writers. How should GeoHot be “held accountable legally”? First, Anonymous denied any involvement from the onset and quite some time ago stated that they weren’t going to do anything against sony other than boycotting them, because they didn’t want to impact customers. Second, GeoHot allowing me to run homebrew on my hardware that I bought with my money and use in my home as I see fit has nothing to do with Sony’s security problems. What I do with my hardware and GeoHot’s providing access to the hardware again has nothing to do with the online security of customer information that Sony should not have made accessible via the an internet connection, anyway. Blaming GeoHot and “hacking” just shows a blistering ignorance of the issues. I expect to see this kind of commentary from Sony apologist fanboys on Sony’s forums; not from knowledgeable journalists in the tech industry.

    If GeoHot provided me the capacity to jailbreak and homebrew my iPhone and then someone also cracked Apple’s security and got ahold of all the Apple customer information from Apple’s customer database inside Apple headquarters, what the hell would that have to do with the iPhone jailbreaking? Even if it was somehow used as a tool to facilitate the activities, that’s like blaming Ortho, because I some woman put it in her husband’s coffee and killed him when he drank it.

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