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Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Free-download PS3 firmware behind PSN downtime?
Source: A Reddit report by self-proclaimed PSX-Scene moderator "chesh420."
What we heard: Late Friday, Sony Computer Entertainment America admitted the reason behind the ongoing PlayStation Network outage was an " external intrusion." Now, though, comes a different account, courtesy of chesh420.
The self-styled PSX-Scene moderator says that he suspects the real reason behind the PSN outage isn't some kind of Anonymous-style mass-denial of service attack. Instead, chesh420 claims that Sony has shut down the service because of some custom firmware called Rebug. With a few modifications to a proxy server, the firmware apparently lets users simulate a PS3 debug unit used by Sony's developer network and media outlets such as GameSpot.
According to chesh420, these proxy-server modifications allow savvy hackers to enter fake credit card numbers that Sony won't check on the false assumption that Rebug firmware users are developers or members of the press. This, in turn, allows Rebug users to download PlayStation Store goods for free, undermining the entire PSN economy.
The official story: SCEA reps had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus?: By chesh420's own account, his suspicions are "all speculation." However, his speculation is "based on previous actions and known facts," making this--at the very least--an intriguing theory.