Computer-hackerIn my mind, computer hackers sit in gloomy basements, typing code until their eyes gloss over. One of these days, hacking is going to get serious – someone is going to bring down something BIG – like say the US power grid. Lest you think MY eyes have glazed over, give a gander to what happened just this last weekend as reported by USA TODAY

Sony confirmed an outage of its PlayStation Network due to an outside attempt to “overwhelm” the electronics giant’s online service, part of a bizarre tale that includes the flight of Sony Online’s president being diverted for security reasons.  In a statement released Sunday (Aug. 24) , Sony revealed that the company’s PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network were hit by “an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic.” Sony says the company is working to restore PSN service as soon as possible.

“Although this has impacted your ability to access our network and enjoy our services, no personal information has been accessed,” says Sony in the statement.  Sony Online Entertainment chief John Smedley confirmed its network was targeted by a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, an external attempt at clogging servers and making services unavailable to their users. A group called Lizard Squad claimed credit for the attack through Twitter.

The article concludes with the scary observation, “This is not the first time Sony’s online network for PlayStation devices has been shut down by outside forces. In 2011, PSN was out for more than a month after hackers compromised the service, exposing personal data and credit card information from 77 million accounts.”

Still not scary enough?  Try this news item from ZD Net April 7, 2012

US government hires company to hack into video game consoles.  The U.S. government recently posted a project asking for the “Development of Tools for Extracting Information from Video Game Systems.” The listing was posted just two months ago, and last week a contract was signed with the California-based company Obscure Technologies. The U.S. is paying $177,237.50 for the job. The U.S. Navy says it is looking to hack into used consoles to extract any sensitive information exchanged through their messaging services.

I don’t know how far that project progressed, but who knows what ELSE is going on?  I’m not paranoid, they really ARE out to get me (and YOU!)


No joke.




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