A major issue is currently plaguing Sony’s PlayStation Network. There are fake accounts trying to entice vulnerable users into something nefarious, perhaps downloading malware or giving up their banking information / passwords. The avatars being used are defaults from PSN’s 2007 days when Sony’s first online console gaming network was first being established.
Messages were sent to my PlayStation account by numerous anonymous and fake accounts periodically (seemingly once every 3 months). As I have not been gaming on any PlayStation platforms for nearly a year now, I did not notice these. I grew frustrated with the way the PS4’s operating system handles multiple external hard drives and was driven to primarily play on my Gaming PC.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and there were a few times in which simply opening a message like this could cause problems for your PS3 or PS4. Sony is admittedly not the best at network programming, and have left many glitches for hackers to exploit throughout the years – such as the current webkit hacks going on in the PS4 Homebrew scene.
This is all too reminiscent of the issues associated with an aging platform. Once the PS4 dropped, I was able to add hundreds of friends through all social media and online gaming communities (Discord, websites, forums, etc.) but logging back into the PS3 broke certain games like Burnout Paradise and Warhawk which could only use 50 friends from my PSN account (randomly chosen by this glitch).
PlayStation Network may need to go through a massive overhaul if issues like these are still being caused by legacy PS3 support on PSN which was absolutely appreciated, albeit flawed as it was not planned for from the start of PS3’s design. And let’s not even talk about the 2011 PlayStation Hack / Network Outage in which all personal data was compromised and we couldn’t play our games for weeks while reports burned Sony for poor security practices.
There is hope that these issues will be fixed by the time PlayStation 5 has taken over our attention spans. Sony has inked a deal with Microsoft to cooperate on various business endeavours including the xCloud server system being extended to host PS Now cloud gaming for Sony. This could also lead to improvements on the PlayStation Network in terms of backend strength as well as user interface / programming integrity. Here’s to hoping.
The one catch we may have to accept is that the PlayStation 3 has been forever altered by the way it was forced to keep up with the PSN network. It will be a difficult system for collectors to preserve well unless the Homebrew community provides tunneling software to the masses.