Somewhere, in a dimly-lit office at Sony HQ, a very sad Kaz Hirai is sitting forlornly at his desk, head in his hands, mumbling "What's the point... I mean, honestly, what is the god d*** point of it all?" In a textbook case of irony, Sony's first line of defense against potential hackers -- the mandatory password reset for all PSN users -- contained within it an exploit that, you guessed it, could facilitate hacking. The Playstation Store is down at the time of this post, and I'm currently unable to log in at the Playstation Network site, at least from my computer. While it's not as drastic as the PSN outage -- according to Sony, "you will still be able to sign into PSN via your PlayStation 3 and PSP devices to connect to game services and view Trophy/Friends information" -- those who don't own a PS3 and have yet to change their password (Sony's statement suggests that PS3 owner can still change their password through the system to which their account is linked) will find themselves out of luck for the time being, given that, as one might expect, the password reset system has been taken offline. The company was quick to assert that there has been no intrusion since the exploit was discovered, saying:
We temporarily took down the PSN and Qriocity password reset page. Contrary to some reports, there was no hack involved. In the process of resetting of passwords there was a URL exploit that we have subsequently fixed.
As sure as Kaz is nursing his third glass of scotch while his wife looks on from the doorway with silent concern, this heralds a setback for a company that is trying to restore a positive public image. Once it's back online, the system's security is supposed to be greatly increased. There will be advanced encryption, better firewalls, and of course increased vigilance so as to avert another torrent of bad press. Failing that, Sony suggests that before signing into the PSN you sit inside a pentagram made of salt, light the candles at each point of the star (going conter-clockwise), and leave your fate in the hands of the Goddess.