It’s Not Sony’s Fault
Although my time in the MMO world has been limited as of late (I’ll let you all know why in about three weeks… ominous I know!) I’ve been following the news about Sony’s hacker problems quite closely. Surprisingly I’m feeling quite calm about the whole thing given that I have a PS3 hooked up the PSN with all of my (fortunately outdated) details and a stagnant SOE account. Sony sure does have a fair amount of information about me and the idea of it falling into the hands of Russian/Chinese/North Korean/Belgian hackers doesn’t exactly fill me with joy to say the least. Still, I’m pretty chilled about it all and, if anything, I’m actually feeling rather sympathetic towards Sony.
Of course, I feel bad for everyone who’s had their info stolen (although I think it’s highly unlikely that it will really affect anyone too dramatically) and, probably more so, to all of the SOE gamers out there who are currently unable to log into their favourite MMO. That’s gonna suck. However we should probably try to maintain a sense of perspective on it all and remember that there are a lot worse things in life that can happen than having a hacker get hold of your address or being forced to miss a few nights raiding.
Still, Sony seems to have ended up on the receiving end of a huge amount of aggression and finger pointing and I know a few people (more big gaming sites than anyone else) have been having a go at them over their supposed lack of security measures. Now I don’t have any clue as to how good or bad their security was – and likely very few other people truly do too – but frankly I’d imagine it’s as good as any large company like that, with all of it’s layers of bureaucracy and employee lethargy, is ever going to get. Pete from Dragonchasers has a great article up about it all if you want to read more.
Call me a cynic but I believe that once Sony was targeted there was probably nothing they could have done to prevent the hacks. No system is completely impenetrable and if people can still manage to hack into the Pentagon and NASA, how can we really be surprised if someone manages to break into Sony? The unfortunate reality is that it’s impossible for any company like Sony to hire employees clever or passionate enough to ever counter the threat of dedicated and motivated hackers. And yes, I’m sure some readers will disagree with that .
So I say deal with it, move on and let’s try to learn from these mistakes instead of looking to pin the blame on the big, bad large corporation. Our time would be better suited either trying to hunt down and kick the living crap out of the hackers themselves or tightening up and enforcing the laws that govern our rights to data protection. I mean if anything at all has shocked me about these events is that SOE were still holding onto an outdated database of players from 2007. I think it’s about time the US got it’s act together and passed a law similar to the Data Protection Act/Directive in the UK/EU which puts mandatory restrictions on how personal data is gathered, stored and held for. That would certainly make me sleep a lot better at night.