Archive for April, 2011

Sony’s PlayStation Network Disaster: What Happens Next?

It’s been a full week since Sony’s PlayStation Network went belly up. For five of those days, the outage appeared to be just what Sony said–an outage. Yesterday all that changed when Sony admitted the “external intruder(s)” that prompted them to take the PSN down on Wednesday, April 20th, had in fact grabbed reams of personal information, and possibly (though unconfirmed) financial data such as credit card info. With upwards of 75 million PSN users affected, some are calling it the largest breach of confidential user information in history. Where does Sony go from here?

(More on PCWorld: PlayStation Network Hack Timeline)

So far, all we know about the PSN outage and security breach could fit neatly on the back of envelope. Someone broke in, Sony shut the service down, at some point opted to completely rebuild the servers, and finally admitted yesterday that the intruder(s) grabbed a pile of rudimentary personal info, e.g. names, addresses, and birth dates.

What we don’t know, by contrast, could probably fill a book. For starters: What type of security measures had Sony enacted prior to the takedown? Did it ramp up security in the wake of attacks by hacker group Anonymous? Were the hackers related to Anonymous (Anonymous denies it was an official operation)? How did the intruder(s) gain access? Did the takedown have anything to do with “Rebug” custom firmware released by hackers earlier this month? Did Sony really not know until yesterday that a serious private information breach had occurred? Did the intruder(s) actually acquire credit card or other highly sensitive personal financial info?

(More on PCWorld: PlayStation Network Security Breach: A Survival Guide)

And what we’d really like to know: What sort of compensation will Sony provide Qriocity and PSN members (note that many pay $50 a year for PlayStation Plus premium membership)? Has Sony identified the parties involved? Does the presumably criminal activity constitute a serious enough felony (or series of felonies) to involve the FBI? What sort of security measures is Sony taking to ensure an attack like this–or worse–won’t happen again? How will it convey that to its over 75 million PSN members and convince them not to jump ship

Continue reading the article here.

Microsoft to host developers for its coming Windows Phone 7

Microsoft is the mobile world’s child with lots of unrealized potential.

Its smartphone software has only a sliver of the market, after the company redesigned it from the ground up and gave it a new name, Windows Phone 7. Still, many are watching and waiting after Nokia, the world’s largest phone maker, said it plans to make Windows Phone 7 its primary smartphone platform.

This week, Microsoft will try to get developers off the fence to make more applications for Windows Phone 7.

At Mix 2011, a Web and Windows Phone app development conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft plans to hold workshops on building apps for Windows Phone 7. Boot-camp sessions begin Monday, and Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president with Microsoft’s mobile business, is expected to give a keynote speech on Wednesday.

Microsoft frustrated users recently when it fumbled a software update to Windows Phones that was supposed to add copy-and-paste and other performance enhancing features to speed phone performance. Belfiore said on Microsoft’s website, “We are sorry the process has been rocky.”

“They need to show that they are emphasizing quality in the platform” at Mix after the update problems, said Rob Sanfilippo, research vice president at Directions on Microsoft, an independent analyst firm in Kirkland. “Then the secondary thing will be what are the new features coming this year?”

At Mobile World Congress in February in Barcelona, Spain, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer announced several new features that will be coming to Windows Phone 7 this year: Twitter integration with

Continue reading the article here.

Return top