Sony's official PlayStaion website became inaccessible in Japan on Wednesday while the site was partially inaccessible in select regions in the U.S., triggering panic that another hacker attack had crippled the gaming giant again.
However, Sony issued a statement that it had downed the website as part of a security measure and not because of a hacker attack, as was reported by Bloomberg.
Media reports claiming that the U.S. PlayStation.com site and blog were partially disrupted because of hackers are false, said Sony spokesman Dan Race in a statement. We installed a new security measure that has temporarily made the sites inaccessible to select regions outside of the U.S.
Bloomberg corrected the report subsequently. The spokesman for Sony said users in Japan could access the PlayStation websites, but they could not access the U.S. version.
Sony's PlayStation Network has been down since April 19. Sony said on Tuesday it will take a few more days to restore the service, which was suspended following a massive hacker attack compromised sensitive data pertaining to millions of users.
Sony's website scare on Wednesday was not the first such instance since its troubles with PlayStation Network started.
The massive security breach came to light in April and fears spread that hackers might have got crucial information pertaining to credit card numbers, purchase history and password security details of millions of members. Sony then went into damage control mode and pulled the plug on services like gaming and music streaming. The tech giant also apologized for one of the largest security breaches in history and offered damages to the affected users.
However, the company lost the momentum once again when its Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) portal was attacked. After it was revealed that a fresh security breach had affected the data pertaining to as many as 25 million customers, Sony took off its SOE. It was also revealed that the compromised data included sensitive credit card data.
In early April too, the 'hacktivist' group Anonymous had targeted Sony's online PlayStation store. A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack had resulted in a temporary glitch.
The attack took place after Anonymous called on hackers to attack Sony after the company took on legendary PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz, who kept posting PS3 exploits onto his personal website. While Sony took Hotz, also known as Geohotz, to court over this it also assiduously worked with Internet Service Providers, Paypal and YouTube to lay hands on the IP addresses of users who viewed the exploits.
This angered digital privacy warriors who vowed revenge on Sony for its alleged privacy invasions, triggering several denial of service attacks and other data breaches.