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Sony pegs loss of PlayStation Network and Qriocity service to an ‘external intrusion’

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Sony has a bit of a problem on its hands. For a few days now, users have experienced a total blackout on the company’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services. The loss of access is largely believed to the work of the hacker group Anonymous, which has pledged to keep the pressure on the Japan-based company in the wake of a very public legal dust-up with PlayStation 3 jailbreak hacker George “GeoHot” Hotz.

Sony’s online gaming and music streaming networks both went down in the middle of last week. The cause hasn’t been specified until today, with a new post on PlayStation Blog which pegs the loss of service to a Sony-initiated shutdown prompted by an “external intrusion.”

Sony senior director of communications and social media Patrick Seybold writes:

“An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. In order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward, we turned off PlayStation Network & Qriocity services on the evening of Wednesday, April 20th. Providing quality entertainment services to our customers and partners is our utmost priority. We are doing all we can to resolve this situation quickly, and we once again thank you for your patience. We will continue to update you promptly as we have additional information to share.”

Don’t hold your breath, account holders. This is a significant event, and a pretty widespread one. Sony will certainly fix it as quickly as possible, and no doubt has a full team in the office this weekend to work on just that, but here are two subscription-driven services that had to be taken completely offline. You can almost hear the disgruntled masses gathered and throwing around words like “class action lawsuit.”

Interestingly, Anonymous is taking no credit for the service outage, and actually stepped forward to distance itself from the situation before Sony admitted to an “external intrusion” being the cause. The hacker group’s web-based news & updates outlet AnonNews features a post entitled “For Once We Didn’t Do It,” which pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? Anonymous admits that individual members may be responsible for the action, but the loss of service is not a group-wide initiative.