Sony has admitted that hackers are to blame for the downtime that has seen millions of gamers unable to connect to the PlayStation Network for three days.
An error message on the PS3 had blamed "maintenance" for the outage, whilst some sections of Sony pointed the finger at a a problem in Japan.
However, Sony communications chief Patrick Seybold said last night:
"An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. In order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward, we turned off PlayStation Network & Qriocity services on the evening of Wednesday, April 20th. Providing quality entertainment services to our customers and partners is our utmost priority.
"We are doing all we can to resolve this situation quickly, and we once again thank you for your patience. We will continue to update you promptly as we have additional information to share."
The most likely candidate is Anonymous, the group of anti-Sony hackers who have promised to cause disruption to PS3's online and offline services in recent weeks.
An 'press release' from the group has distanced them from the attack, however. It reads:
For Once We Didn't Do It
Sony's Playstation Network, its online service for Playstation 3 and its Playstation Portable consoles, suffered from a major outage today; which is on going as of this writting. According to Son'ys blog, the interruption in service may last into the long weekend - for at least another "full day or two". Sony released a statement through its EU blog, saying that the network outage may be a result of "targeted behaviour by an outside party", brining in the possibility of cyberattacks. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the message has since been removed.
While it could be the case that other Anons have acted by themselves AnonOps wa not related to this incident and takes no responsiblity for it. A more likely explination is that Sony is taking advantage of Anonymous' previous ill-will towards the company to distract users from the fact the outage is accutally an internal problem with the companies servers.
Sony is incompetent.