It's been a rough few days for PlayStation Network users, and things aren't getting better: Sony's keeping PSN offline indefinitely while it deals with a security breach that may have compromised user information. We don't have many details on what exactly happened: Sony's simply saying there was an "external intrusion" that forced a PSN shutdown last Wednesday, and that it hasn't determined yet if user data like credit card information was stolen or compromised in the breach.
(Rabble-rousing pranksters Anonymous took credit for an attack several weeks ago, but we don't know if these are related events.) In the meantime, we're told that the company is rebuilding PSN and "working to get back online quickly," which is what they've been saying for nearly a week now. Let's hope things get patched up quickly, as it's not just PSN that's feeling the hit -- you can't use Hulu Plus or Netflix on the PS3 without logging into PSN, so those services are being affected too.
Interestingly, there's a different theory being promulgated on Reddit: turns out a PS3 custom firmware called Rebug released in March allowed users to spoof developer units and use fake credit card numbers to pirate PSN content, which some say led Sony to pull the plug on the entire network until the loophole could be closed. We have absolutely zero confirmation of that theory, but between admitting to a security breach that potentially compromised user data and dealing with a legion of console hackers motivated to cause mischief because of the Geohot lawsuit, things certainly aren't going Sony's way right now. Too bad the S1 and S2 Android tablets aren't launching until the fall -- they'd have certainly been a nice distraction.
Update: Anonymous has disavowed centralized responsibility, so at least that's cleared up.
[Via Daring Fireball]