Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh the Similarity!

Watch the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3  Am3rica teaser.

Then here is a link directly on that scene where MW3 : Am3rica teaser looks like without the technical stuff matrix look alike : Red Alert 2. That video is the first thing that came into my head when I saw that trailer. I am pretty sure some of you guys have played RA2.

Yes! The Russians are back in MW3. This time it is a total world war. A continuation of the story from the last one. Are you getting it or are you getting bored of Call of Duty coming out every year only bringing small changes everytime it comes out. I'm up for Battlefield 3 though.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Portal 2 Music for Free

Hey Portal fans! Maybe some of you don't know that the music for portal is available for download for free from their website. I have downloaded the album and so far I am amazed how good this album is. It also comes with the album cover. Also, they have free ringtones for android phones as well as for iPhone. Check it out! Reminds me of my first play through when I listen to some of the tracks.


New PS3 7.1 Headset

7.1 Goodness
Few days ago, Sony announced a new headset designed for the PS3. It is wireless and offers 7.1 surround sound. I wish I have waited for this to come out before I bought a PS3 bluetooth headset. The current headset is uncomfortable but it is nice because of it's minimalistic design. I think I will pick this new peripheral and then a surround sound system sometime in the future.

Oh and yes, that is a mic sticking out of that thing :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Best Killzone Fan Made Film

There are many fan made films out there but this one stands out from all of them. If you are a Killzone fan, you might wanna try watching this. You can tell that there was so much effort put in this fan made movie. They spent quite a lot of money too. Make sure you thumb it up if you see it. Best Killzone fan made movie I've ever seen.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

L.A Noir : Too Hot for PS3

L.A Noir just came out and it not only sets up a new bar for facial animation but also causing a problem for PS3. So far Sony has confirmed that they have not yet determined what is causing the PS3 to overheat or shutdown. They are not sure if it is the new 3.61 firmware update or the game.

It's a crime scene alright
Recently, my PS3 has been freezing too. I am not sure what is causing it. I keep my vents clean and everything and it does feels hotter than before. However, I think it might be the game as it seems like will require tons of resources and processing power of the PS3. Is the PS3 pushed to its limits by this game or is it the 3.61 update?

PSN Under Maintenance Again?

I tried logging in on forums/community sites yesterday and I thought it is possible to do so again. Anyways, there was a security flaw in the log-in system where the hackers (who have obtained our information) has the ability to take over the account. The reason - they have our info. They have our birth dates, full name, and other stuff that could fool the system. Sony has brought PSN back down to prevent this from happening. Sony was given a warning by a security company in regards to this flaw.

Change your email address that is tied with your PSN account and change your passwords directly on your PS3.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

PSN : Overloading

Hi guys, I just want to spread the word out that the PSN will be down for 30 minutes to clear up the queue for those people who are requesting to change their password. Apparently, the servers are being overloaded for requests for password change. It is expected but after this, everything will be going as planned (I hope). Almost three weeks of no PSN and it will be down for 30 minutes. Patrick did not state when or what time it will occur.

"We’re currently experiencing an extremely heavy load of password resets, and so we recently had to turn off services for approximately 30 minutes to clear the queue."
- Patrick Seybold

No further details released. To keep connected to your online game, don't turn off your PS3. You might have a hard time logging back in.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

PS3: Firmware Update 3.61 is Up For Grabs! SOE and PSN Back Online Today!

That is right! 3.61 firmware upgrade for PS3 is now live. Like I stated in my old post, it is a security update that forces you to change your password. I think we are nearing the end of the dark times. Turn on your PS3 and get your update :) Also, PSN is coming back online now for North America - "state by state" as we speak.

Not confirmed but just rough estimates/predictions. It could be some of their surrounding states as well. Thanks :)

Update(9): Playstation Network is online for North America 12:00am Pacific May 15, 2011. WOOT! See you guys online!

Canada is also back online. You can request your change of password now using your PS3. It is faster than PC. I highly recommend using the PS3 to change your password. Remember, only the PS3 you always log-on into will work for the password change.

If you are going to try to change it through your PC, you have to wait for an email that could take 24 hours to arrive. The email will provide you a link so that you can verify that it is you and update your password.This is what you would see from your PC if you try to log in:

"To sign in, an update of your account information is required. An e-mail message with instructions has been sent to Your_Email. It may take up to 24 hours to receive this message."

Update(8): West coast and mid-west U.S.A is now back online. Also some Central parts, Alaska and Hawaii as well. Every state in U.S will be back sometime in the morning. Welcome back guys! Now we look forward for our "Welcome Package". 11:00pm PST. Congrats!

Update(7): Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania are up and running! (Officially confirmed) 10:30pm PST

Still coming up next few hour or so*:
Washington State (Possibly next)
Texas and surrounding states- Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Oklahoma (Possibly next)
North/South Dakota(2-3 hours or so)
and Oregon (in about 2-3 hours or so)

Update(6): Florida, South/North Carolina,and Georgia are now online 9:00pm PST (officially confirmed) Enjoy guys!

It seems like they confirm states every hour. Please be patient.

Still waiting for Washington state(trying to confirm right now), Louisiana, Dakota, Texas, Michigan/Ohio (trying to confirm as well), possibly Oklahoma as well as Alabama, Illinois and their surrounding states to come up next hour.* One of these should be officially confirmed as well as some of their surrounding states

Germany (Will be back on soon as well).

Update(5): Florida, Louisiana, Washington State, and Dakota coming up next. In addition, Texas and Michigan/Ohio area are coming up too. Alabama will join shortly.

Update(4): State of California is now on as of 8:11pm PST. Europe servers are still down but has updated their blog post. PlayStation Network Restoration Begins - Sony UK

Update(3): Seems like the official site is having trouble loading. Probably the server is being overwhelmed. Nothing has changed so far from the map. 7:51 PST

Update (2): New York are and entire far North East of U.S is now officially back on. Still no word for Canada. You can now access your PSN and online multiplayer if you live in NY, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey area.

Update(1): People are reporting that they are having trouble downloading the new update probably due to the amount of people downloading it. So just keep trying and you will download the update successfully. The PSN is still down in my region as we speak.

"An error occurred during the download operation. A connection to the server cannot be established. (80710101)"

PSN is going back on today state by state. Maybe by tomorrow, the whole North America will be back online.

"Please note that these services will take a bit of time to be turned on and rolled out to the whole country. The process has begun and some states are being turned on now, so please be patient as we reach your city and state."

They kindly put up a map on which state is currently on. To see the official blog. Click :

"We strongly recommend that all PSN account holders with PS3s update their systems to prepare for when PlayStation Network is back online. The release of this update is a critical step as we work to make PlayStation Network significantly more secure. Thank you for your continued support and patience."
  Eric Lempel - VP, Sony Network Entertainment

It is quite a big update. I am pretty sure there is more behind this update other than just forcing you to change passwords of course. There was no noticeable changes made but we will find out once the PSN gets back on.

However, PSN is still down but I think it will come back soon. I expect another firmware update once before the whole service is back up since PS Store will be disabled up until the end of the month.

For full official blog post:

Also, a welcome message from Kaz.
Kaz Hirai - PSN Relaunch Announcement


In addition, GOOD news for SOE PC gamers! Your service is coming back on today! Still no words for PSN though. Happy hunting!

"Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) announced today that restoration of its game services will begin today. The phased restoration will include the return of nearly all of SOE's portfolio of online games, the reinstatement of SOE's game forums and websites, and added functionality to require players to reset their passwords."
 For the official announcement :

Amazon EC2 kicked PSN Down?

Another Bloomberg report. This time, I think it is more accurate compared to previous report that they have made. However, I think when Bloomberg reported that the PSN will be back on by the end of this month is slowly becoming more realistic.

Apparently Bloomberg is saying that the FBI is slowly making a trace back to the perpetrators of the PSN hacking scheme. The hackers used Amazon's EC2 servers to help them enter PSN and bring it down. EC2 is a cloud computing service helping developers to compute much easier. It is a pay-as-you-go type of service. So anyone can sign-up, pay, and the service is yours. The hackers used false information to sign up for the site. However, it will be another road block for the authorities if they find out that the hackers used a stolen credit card or even a pre-paid credit card.

At least the FBI is making progress tracking down the guys behind this. I am pretty sure that the hacker has already thrown off his hard drive and computer into the river by this time :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

PSN : Sign of life? SOCOM4 Leaderboard Active

I am not sure what exactly going on here but for some reason, some people can access the games online. Playtesting perhaps. Who knows. SOCOM's online leaderboard for May is a little busy during the past few days even if the PSN is still offline.Could this be dev accounts? Playtesters? Or a sign that the PSN will go back on soon? Maybe a server glitch or whatever. Thanks to someone who started a thread about this on SOCOM 4 forums that got me interested -  kudos! :)

Here is a guide that I just made on how to access the SOCOM4 leaderboard without logging in:
SOCOM 4 Leaderboard for May
You can check the leaderboard without logging in by simply copy and pasting this URL in to your web browser and replace the insert_name_here to any of those names listed on that photo above or even yours (if you were able to log in before PSN was taken offline).


Once you are looking at someone's stats, look for leaderboards in between co-op and compare stats tab.
The tab

So, you now have an access to the leaderboards without having to log-in. You can change the time range to see who is playing during this week or this month. You can check their stats too and look at when they started playing. I hope this helps :)

Update (1): Dunham tweeted :
"We have some internal tools available to us this week. Since I'm out, though, I can't elaborate"

He is currently on vacation. When he gets back, I think more questions will be answered :)

Demon's Souls fans! Dark Souls website is now up!

For those who are looking forward for Dark Souls (like me), The official site for Dark Souls is up! Check it out for latest videos and screenshots. Awesome stuff they got there :)

Look at that nice view!
Open world, no constant loading of the maps, and with the gameplay of Demon's Souls. Count me in!

Angry Birds flying free!

Yes, Angry Birds is now free online. I am pretty sure you guys know what Angry Birds is. It is a game where you put birds in a sling shot and you try to kill the pigs who stole your eggs. It is a simple but fun puzzle game. It is a popular iPhone/iTouch game app and was ported to other platforms as a mini game like for the PS3.

Thanks to Google, Angry Bird is a free app for Chrome web browser. It is still in beta and requires you to log in with your Google account to download. It does not take that long before you can start hurling birds to kill pigs. It is available on both standard and high definition.

Google Chrome in Angry Birds
In addition to killing pigs, destroying their "house" or "castle", every level has a collectible chrome logo. If you hit that logo, you will unlock a challenge mode. Collect them all for extended levels/challenges. They are located in random places. Usually, places that you don't expect to see.

I finished each challenges within a couple of hours. It really got my attention and trying to get three stars now on each level. Same challenges that you will see from other platforms. Go and try it out! It is fun!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sony : Just a little bit more...

Argh! Now I am really frustrated. I can tell you guys are too (so many searches in regards to PSN updates). Today, Mr. Seybold has just announced (re-stating the announcement of the announcement that was announced more than a week ago) "Few more days". No I am serious. This is a new announcement. Sony got us excited on that blog post in regards to final stages. What did we just get after that post? Another blog that says it will take another couple of days for the PSN to get back up on its feet - step by step.

Patrick Seybold : *shrugs* 
Please Patrick, just include something that will really give hope instead of saying just those words like "can't" ,"I know", and etc. At least say - "Oh one of the three security companies that we brought in has finished their testing...on to the next one." All we got was "Hang in there!" Some people can't hold on any more. They are getting tired waiting and listening to the same thing over and over again to "next few days" "A little more time". Better yet, just don't post at all and surprise us.

To be honest, I can't really wait any more. I thought Move and other games that I just have purchased are going to entertain me until the return of the PSN. I guess I am wrong. I finished Portal 2 and SOCOM 4 at the same day I got them. Those were some of the big titles that has came out recently.

The PSN is also necessary to post on message boards which enables the community to voice out their concern directly or discuss other things with each other. Funny thing is that some of the developers  can't even post on their official forums because they cannot log-in since it requires PSN.

Another day, another blog post with no definite date when the PSN will be coming back online.

Here is that short and bitter post. I wish it had a different title. Not really a "Timeline Update" so beware of the misleading title of this official blog post.

Here ya go:

Monday, May 09, 2011

Pacman vs. Sugar - My thoughts

Last weeked was another fight of Pacman  - to defend his title from his challenger - Shane Mosley.

First of all, good try Mosely. I think these two fighters were playing safe most of the time during the fight. Nobody wants to get hit because they know and seen each other's performance prior to the fight. I think that is one of the reasons why this fight was boring. So it just proves that even top boxers will not bring good fights.

Mosley was always in retreat and turtles up when starts receiving punches. I was disappointed. That guy has had a good career because of his strength  and aggressiveness. Indeed, you can see the age putting a toll on his performance.

Pacquiao was showing some slow down too. I hope he was not forcing himself to do all these things to please everyone. He did not throw enough punches compared to his last few fights. However, he managed to knock Sugar down on the 3rd round and pulling off 30+ combinations. Pacquiao admitted that he was having cramps on his legs and he was involved on an accident early that day. His car was hit by his own security from their caravan. Maybe it is the reason why he did not perform as he used to. Pacman wanted to please the crowd but the his opponent doesn't want to participate.

"What could I do if my opponent doesn't want to fight toe-to-toe? It's not my fault,"
- Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao

Now, the one that really bothered me the most is the push made by Mosley. I think the referee did not see that clearly that Pacman was shoved down and was not punched. I think it Mosley did that because he lost balance and fell again prior to that round. It was clear that he stepped on Pacman's right feet and then shoved him.

This fight was about the amount of punches you threw and how many you landed. Mosley still fails to take the easy way out to get the guaranteed money. He received some pretty bad punches from Pacman at the end. I thought this fight was...boring. It was over-hyped.

Pacquiao plans to retire next year. Which is sad to hear. Oh well. Maybe there will be another one just like him rising on the list right now.

Medal Of Honor(PS3)

Since I just started blogging recently, I just want to say something about Medal of Honor. The funny thing is that I just heard Linkin Park's "Catalyst" (I'm a big fan of LP!) which reminded me of MoH. That just proves that music is important to the identity of a game. I will not discuss this in depth due to it being out there for a long time. I just want to say a couple of words about it.

Medal of Honor tried to compete with Modern Warfare and it did created its own fanbase. It still remains active as we speak. Pretty fun game. It kept me busy during the winter. I got the highest levels on each type. Graphics and sound is awesome (a sneak peek to BF3 style graphics). Similar to Bad Company 2 but hella better. Sometimes there is lag but the hit detection is  not a problem in this game. Guns are accurate and attachments are pretty cool. I think the shotgun is too over powered in this game. No matter what distance.

Game modes can get intense. Some game modes like mission type of game will require communication and great team work in order to win. Team deathmatch can be a little boring sometimes but the "Clean Sweep" can really test your skill.

The kill streaks are something that I have not seen before. It is not linear (sort of) because once you get a certain amount of kills, you can choose between a defensive or an offensive kill streak. An example of defensive kill streak is match ammo - which increases the damage of your weapons. Offensive kill streak is like hell fire missile strike with the ability to control it. Sometimes, I do wish that there should be more kill streaks but oh well.

Single player is action packed. The story follows a real-life story but not accurate. It is like you are playing a documentary. Voice acting is superb and the helicopter missions are very satisfying so as the sniper missions. Very linear since you follow a path most of the time.You don't have freedom to choose what path to take.

The timed challenges is something that I am having hard time to finish. About a couple more to complete and I can will get my platinum trophy.

I just wish there are more guns in the game, more kill streaks, more maps, and other goodies. However, this game is like a buffer. A peek to what is really coming. Battlefield 3. Oh yea, the limited edition includes the redemption code for BF3 beta. Expect that to come soon :) Too bad, I don't think EA will put extra stuff out for MoH. The bottom line is, it kept me busy and focused to the game for quite a while.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

PSN 2.0 and "Welcome Back" package

There is an update on EU PS Blog about the return of PSN service - PSN 2.0. Oh and yea, you will be forced to change your passwords when you return back online as I said on my previous entry. Besides that, you can only change your password on your own PS3 (where you activated you account) or through your verified email. Also, you will be able to download two free games of your choice from a list that they will provide for your PS3 and PSP (so if you have both PS3 and PSP, you can download 4 in total).The blog says that it will be different per region. If you are from North America, you might get different titles.

Update(6): PS Store will be up on June 2nd 2011.

Update(5): PS Store might be back early next week May 24th. It is confirmed that it will not be back on 24th.

Update(4): An official announcement was made in regards to "Welcome Back" package.

Like EU announcement, North America/South America will be given a choice between games and ability to download 2 games for free for both PS3 and PSP.

The games for PS3 are: LittleBigPlanet, Superstardust HD, Dead Nation, Wipeout HD+fury, and Infamous.
For PSP: LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force, Killzone Liberation

In addition, North America will be getting free movie weekend on selected movies.

For PS Home, there will be 100 virtual item freebies and more to come up soon.

30 days free PS plus for the non subscribers and 60 days free for subscribers.

For Europe:
PSP recieves the same titles as North America. For PS3, they will be getting: LittleBigPlanet, Infamous, WipeOut HD +Fury, Ratchet and Clank: Quest For Booty, Dead Nation.

Here are links for gameplay videos:

Update(3): There will be an announcement made sometime tomorrow in regards to the "Welcome Back Package". 16th May. There will be multiple updates for PS store in a week once it is back up to catch up on the backlog.

Update(2): UK official PS blog made a link for the "Welcome Back" program. However it is still not up. No words yet what will be offered for North American users.

Update(1): EU official blog update in regards to PS3 and PSP free games upon PSN returning back online:

However, I think that North American PSN will offer the same thing. I think the games that we will see on the list are from a first party developer and those games were released ages ago. 30 days PS+ and four free games of your choice from a list? Hmm calculate how much that would be then multiplied by...the total amount of PSN registered users. Oh hell...

There is a rumour going around that there will be new features for the PS3 as well such as cross game chat (seriously, you already can do this with the chat in XMB why bother with voice since most of PS3 players got no mics) and in-game video-chat (interesting but I doubt it will be a new feature. PS3 does not have enough RAM  to do so. Running the XMB can be sluggish on some high resource hungry games). However, I am pretty satisfied of what the PS3 offers right now.

I just wish they  update the web browser (There is another rumour about that. PS3 might be getting a Google Chrome)

Sony is saying that PSN 2.0 will be much more efficient and secure. I do hope so. They put up so much defences that I hope it does not slow down the network or go through too many scans before going online. That would be a hassle. 

I am just tired of waiting. These guys from Sony Playstation are teasing us everyday. Part of getting users back again I guess. So maybe this week for sure it will be back up! Are you guys excited or what?

Oh yea, for those who has codes for PS store (redeemable codes for extra weapons/DLCs), you cannot claim or activate it since the PS store is not going to be part of the stage one restart of Playstation Network. It will be days or weeks later after PSN going back online they will decide to re-open the PS store.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Do you want free money?

Sony is considering offering a reward for any information in regards to the hackers who stole millions of customer personal data according  to CNET. Pretty interesting read. Oh yea, nothing is free. You need to provide information in exchange for money...or whatever that is.

There are reports that some members that were kicked out of their gang was apparently providing information to law enforcement. Hmmm... that is what happens when people are butthurt. If you kick someone in the ass, they will kick yours back.

I think Sony will use this tactic as the last resort if they could not trace the path back to the hacker's laptop/computer/or even a modified PS3. Yes, there is a possibility that they have used a modded PS3 to enter Sonyland. That would be the easiest way to get into the system servers. Hitching a ride in their own system making it harder for the servers to detect. I don't know. It is just something that came into my mind but it is still possible.

If they do end up using this reward tactic, I think many from their own group would turn over against each other. Well, primarily because none or ...maybe a few of them knew each other "personally" and a free money is up for grabs. Their handle/username/Alias is a start. Of course, the FBI will be there and other law enforcement if this happens. It wouldn't be like a dark alley exchange scene from movies (but that would be cool).

If you are one of those people that knows or "knows" the hacker's alias or identity, would you turn that person in for a bag of money?

I would love how this goes...this is getting interesting everyday!

Oh yea here's the link for that CNET article :

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel

Sony announced again today that they are in their final phase of internal testing. What does this mean? PSN is coming back...soon. Maybe a few days or even tomorrow. Well what the heck. Anyways, it sounds very promising how this new system will be much more secure. However, what is there to secure when everyone knows that someone has your information already. Future customers definitely.

Glad that we hear something that they are almost done testing the new and improved PSN network. The problem is not finished yet with Sony due to several class action lawsuits and governments bugging the company. When these things are all resolved and back to normal. Everyone will be back and happy again at the end.


Remember this word from Hotz case that haunted many users for sometime due to Sony scouring through information from Youtube and other sites? Well, it is making its way back to the Sony scene. This time it is against Sony.

The New York state issued a subpoena for Sony reported by Bloomberg today. Mr. Kaz's response was beyond the due date that was put down by the House of Representatives. So, I guess the reason why the court issued a subpoena is because they want more answers from the hacking.

What does this mean to Sony? Sony will be sending a representative to explain the whole situation. It was revealed that Sony's servers were running an outdated software with known holes and outdated firewalls . That was a bad part from Sony. Like they said, they were clueless themselves about the incident because they do not know what was going on in their system. The reason? not enough firewall and sub-par defences and operating systems for the servers.

People put their trust so much to these successful companies such as Apple (which was collecting your information in secret). That trust makes us consumers blind. Be aware that there is no perfect system out there for consumer grade level. Take pre-caution when entering your information out there.
Payback is best served cold.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Sony had outdated defences says Hackers

So I just finished reading the reported conversation between hackers. The chat-log in other word. I must say, these guys are pretty smart and knows what they do. I could barely understand what they are talking about since they are using technical terms most of the time. From what I understand was Sony did not have an up-to-date defences against hackers. I mean why would they? They got millions of people connected to it (even hackers) at the same time? Why would the hackers will try to bring it down or even think about it.

I am not sure whether what they are talking about is legit or not but there are people out there that are very committed to cracking stuff up and figuring out things in a digital way. I mean talking about passion to what they do even though they know the consequences will be bad. I think some of them hang out in that channel all day long working together.

 The sad truth about the PS3 is that is collects many information about the user as stated by one of the users. More than anything you have signed up for. For one, maybe it is to make sure you are abiding the rules and make a fair environment for one. What I am curious about when a user said that Sony is using an outdated server software and operating system. The software they are using to run their servers has known gaps. So it is true. In business, nothing is free. If it is free, expect a service that is a little lower than the norm. The funny thing is even if you are paying for Plus, you are under the same category as a free user. I am not sure how it is changed now after the hacking. I am pretty sure that Sony's investigation is still ongoing right now. Restoration might take a few more days and a few more reassurance from the community managers by posting blogs that it will return this week. They have said it a couple of times already and provided us a draft with no known exact date the service will be back.

I am lucky that I have not updated my information or attempted to put my CC information on the PSN right before this hacking occurred. Although, I feel a little scared knowing that my information is somewhere out there floating. However, at the same time why would I since we all have many digital personal information footprint lying around - facebook and other sites that we have registered to.

I just can't wait till the service comes back on. It seems to me, the online part of gaming has become a staple for this generation. I believe that many companies will learn their lessons and will provide a better and secure future for their users.

Update (1): PSN servers were running up to date software. They said anyone can check the software version by just google-ing the servers. Hmmm...are PSN servers open to public like that? I mean, it is easy to check a website server's software version by google cache but a game server? Hmm...

Sony : We know who did it or ... do we?

Another official blog was just posted few minutes ago by Mr. Seybold providing an answer to to the U.S house of Representatives' questions. Apparently, Sony and their digital forensic team has found a file in their server that says "Anonymous - We are Legion". Few days after the PSN went down, the anonymous said that they are not at fault for causing this situation.

This confirms that Anonymous is the one at fault:

"We discovered that the intruders had planted a file on one of our Sony Online Entertainment servers named “Anonymous” with the words “We are Legion.”
- Patrick Seybold, Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media
The problem with this group of hackers is that they act without a leader. If they all agree on one idea, they will do it and nobody will point a finger(since each hacker does not know the other hacker)making it difficult for the authorities to catch its members. Also, one can become rouge and betray their operations because there is no one on top and on power to moderate the moderators.

The ones who disagree with the initial idea does their own thing carrying the same name - "Anonymous". It is probably those group who did this or someone pretending to be the "Anonymous". So, it is hard to tell who is lying or who is telling the truth. The fact is, they are all Anonymous.

Let's see how things happened since the beginning:
  • GeoHotz was brought to court
  • Anonymous showed up and declared war to Sony for teh lulz - they also posted a video in youtube
  • PSN was attacked for a short period of time as well as official Sony website
  • Gamers were furious about messing up with their PSN
  • Anonymous said that it will halt its action against PSN but will continue against other Sony websites
  • It was rumoured that the group has broken into two groups - the ones that they think should not disrupt the PSN and the ones that should
  • PSN was shutdown
  • Anonymous denied that they are the cause of the hacking but states that they will continue to disrupt services as soon as the PSN goes back live again.
  • Sony and their forensic team has found a file leading them back towards Anons and announces it to the public.
Sony is pointing its fingers to the anons. Soon the Playstation supporters will follow because they are butthurt. I hope this does not lead to hack wars.

Sony has no name or age or anything that identifies the hackers. It might take months or  years to find out the people behind the name anonymous. They have deleted logs in the server to cover their tracks. Digital forensics should be much more smarter than just looking at logs.

Update (1): Official response documents are now available in flicker.

In the official document it states :
"Detection was difficult because of sheer sophistication of the intrusion."
Indeed, hackers becomes much more smarter as years go by. They are more experienced and possibly with a higher education. What fascinates me the most is that Sony shut down only the server they suspect that was compromised hours later the hacking and while they were not aware about other servers being compromised as well. I have noticed significant on and offs from the network at that time because I was online. If they had a suspicion that someone is mingling around their system, they should have shut it down right away. Sony had enough warnings prior to getting hacked and they were very confident about their defences I guess.

The documents provided by Sony are very informative. Not only it provides information based on a timeline but it explains everything in Sony's perspective. To think that telling their consumers without a physical evidence that their information has been taken would be...stupid. Not only they will provide false information to the consumers that could lead to fear. Either way, it was a dilemma for Sony.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Sony : Hired three security firms

As we continue to waiting for the PSN to go back online. It is revealed by The Wall Street Journal that Sony is working with three security firms to investigate how the hackers entered through Sony's defences. Those three companies are Proviti inc., Guidance Software Inc.,and Data Forte Corp. Also, I have seen a diagaram somewhere how the hackers has entered through Sony's defences. As of now the PSN is still down and users were promised within a week (from last tuesday) that the PSN is going back up. If they can get back the online part for multiplayer, some people might be happy and will not be thinking about issuing a class action lawsuit.

Speaking of lawsuit. Today, a Canadian 21 year old female from Ontario, Canada filed a lawsuit against all branches of Sony corporation. The first one from Canada. Sony did not announce anything about their Canadian customers affected by the hacking.

Also, there is a rumour going around that the PSN service in Japan is back up. I doubt it. If you do not hear it from an official source like the official blog, do not believe it even if it from a customer service from Sony. Many are writing about and then apologizing after.

For the news article regarding the three firm visit : http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110503-714462.html

Monday, May 02, 2011

SOCOM Pro Code - No scratching needed anymore

So, I did you rip your code up?
New copies of SOCOM 4 contains a redemption code as an incentive for buying a new copy. So for those who are buying SOCOM 4 used will have to spend another 15$ to get SOCOM pro. For those who don't know, SOCOM pro will have an exclusive content for download (free) such as new weapons that were not included in the stand alone game.

Many players had issues trying to obtain their code from the back of their manual booklet for those who got it the week it came out. To obtain the code, you have to scratch the protective layer util the code is visible. However, some players think that they have to peel off that protective tape. That tape provides protection to the code for those who might scratch too hard. The new copies now has no protective layer that covers the code. It is now completely exposed.

The thing about having it exposed like that is anyone can see it. Gamestop sometimes leave the manual with the box. Anyone can take a look at the manual and take a photo or even take it with them to get the code for free. The customer that picks up that brand new copy will end up paying for extra 15$.

For those who has ripped their codes due to improper way of obtaining it, call customer service and they will ask you to provide reciept (scan it) and a copy of that ripped voucher. They will send you a new one.

Well, they made life easier for everyone.

Update (1): Since the PS store is down, you can still enter the code via your web browser on your computer. Go to the playstation store website and log in. Once you log in, go to account management and then redeem code. If the log in system is down, then there is no way to redeem it.

Sony Online Entertainment: PC gamers are not left out from PSN hacking.

"Surprise! The hackers did not forget about you PC gamers!"

Another service from Sony has gone down for maintenance. Station.com serves online Sony PC games like Everquest and DC Universe. Apparently, Sony thinks that SOE is also affected by the PSN hack incident more than a week ago.The servers are located separately from each other but in the same geographical location. So they shut it down to have an investigation.

An announcement from SOE facebook page few minutes ago was made stating:
"Dear valued SOE customers:
We had temporarily taken down SOE services during the night. In the course of our investigation into the intrusion of our systems, we have discovered an issue that warrants enough concern. We will provide an update later today."
- SOE Facebook

SOE already announced that they will provide in-game bonuses for the loss of service. Let's hope that the PC gamer's personal information has not been taken too just like the PSN. It will be much much bigger than we thought if both numbers of affected players are combined.

Update(1): Sony has officially announced that the same thing happened across the SOE network. All personal information of paying customers for MMORPG and other games offered by SOE are in the exact same position as the PSN users. They have also identified that credit card information were also taken.

"This information, which was discovered by engineers and security consultants reviewing SOE systems, showed that personal information from approximately 24.6 million SOE accounts may have been stolen, as well as certain information from an outdated database from 2007.  The information from the outdated database that may have been stolen includes approximately 12,700 non-U.S. credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security codes), and about 10,700 direct debit records of certain customers in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain."

Actually, it turns out to be much worse than PSN. As the information taken form the servers were much more such as bank account numbers, customer name, account name, and address of over 10,000 people.

No doubt. this is the biggest criminal hacking incident yet.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Free PSN Plus for Everyone!

Good news! After the recent hacking tragedy of the Playstation Network. Sony will give free 30 day free service of the PSN. Also this week, the some of the services will be turned on. Of course, day 1 will start with turning on the online gaming part because that is the most important. What I am looking forward to is this "Welcome back" program and rewards program for sticking with Sony.

Update(1): It is official. According to the Japanese Official Playstation website, there will be a firmware update v3.61 for the PS3 once the PSN gets back online. The update will force you to change your password.

"Central components of the “Welcome Back” program will include:
  • Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon.
  • All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.
  • Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers (in countries where the service is available) will receive 30 days free service."
30 day free Playstation Plus is pretty much a standard trial. So I think. Maybe they will throw some more stuff for free out there from the PSN like movies or free game downloads or even free game content downloads. It is going to be tough buying back the hearts and regain their trust  because of this incident. Sony will spend much more money to try to win back what they lost. This is a big blow to the company as they reported that they only started to gain profits recently. 

Still, with these free stuff that will be handed to us through PSN are not enough to heal the wounds that was cut deep. Sony better give us something worthwhile not just trials or old movies from 90's or mini games.

I think maybe few days later when we go back to our normal gaming lives, we will forget about it but for those who entered their CC might not. For sure the fanboys will stick until the end. When the media stops covering the outage, maybe some more people will not care and forget about it.

I always knew that someday, someone might target the PSN and successfully troll the whole PS gaming community. I think I am one of the lucky ones who did not entered their credit card information so I had peace of mind throughout this thing. 

So yea, Sony will try to court your hearts back to them? Will you go back and say "Ok, let's make up Sony<3" or "FU...We are done! Get out of my house!".

For the official PS Blog Post from Mr. Seybold :