First, there was the PSN über-meltdown. Either an extremely evil person tried to get their hands on all those users’ credit card information, or some smart aleck thought it would be a good idea to teach Sony a lesson about security measures by obliterating their entire network. Afterwards, another arm of the company, Sony Online Entertainment, was also hacked, compromising the personal information of SOE’s 24.6 million users. (SOE was never taken down the way the PlayStation Network was, so it’s services never suffered an outage.)
But that was only the beginning. Around mid-May, the website for Eidos Interactive (publisher of Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, and others) was hacked, compromising some 25,000 email addresses and 350 job applications & resumes. Then it happened again, this time to Gears of War developer Epic Games. Just last week, UK developer Codemasters (Bodycount, Dirt) was hit. Today, Bethesda Softworks (Fallout, Rage, Elder Scrolls) announced that its website suffered a hack attempt as well. No credit card information was stolen in any of these post-Sony attacks, but some personal data was compromised, like email addresses and passwords.
Somewhere along the way, some reports suggested that both Microsoft and Nintendo were also the targets of unsuccessful network attacks.
With developers keeping details about the attacks private, gamers are left wondering if all of this is the work of a single initiative. Anonymous, perhaps? Or did the malicious attack on PSN inspire copycats to try to emulate it on other gaming networks?
If I were a game developer, I’d be doubling up on my security measures right about now.