PSN Outage: Day 6 – Custom Firmware Rebug to Blame?

PSN Outage: Day 6 – Custom Firmware Rebug to Blame?

Unidentified PSX-Scene Mod claims that custom firmware called Rebug allowed PS3 users to unlock dev features on a retail console and access Sony’s private developer PSN network, giving them unlimited access to scores of free PSN content. It was this “illegal and unauthorized intrusion” into the PSN network that forced the shutdown.

It’s now day 6 of the infamous PlayStation Network outage and it seems that custom firmware, not the hacktivist group Anonymous, is to blame.

“Ok, I’ve seen a bunch of speculation of why people think PSN is down, and I thought I should just post what the community knows in comparison to what Sony is telling everyone,” writes an unidentified person who claims to be a moderator over at PSX-Scene.com. “The truth is, there was a new CFW (custom firmware) released known as Rebug (http://rebug.me). It essentially turns a retail console into a dev console (not fully, but gives you a lot of the same options that usually dev’s only have access to).”

Users of the CFW eventually figured out that it also gave them access to Sony’s private developer PSN network, giving them unfettered access to scores of free PSN content.

“With a little manipulation of the URL’s through a proxy server you could get your hacked console back online,” he adds. “Not that big of a deal, right? Well, it also turns out that some people over at NGU found out that you could provide fake CC# info and the authenticity of the information was never checked as you were on Sony’s private developer PSN network (essentially a network that Sony trusted).”

Some initially blamed the PSN downtime on Anonymous which has expressed a number of grievances toward Sony over its handling of the PS3 root key affair. “For once we didn’t do it,” it said in response, and it seems it was telling the truth.

Sony gave a quick update on the affair in a post to its blog earlier today:

We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. In response to this intrusion, we have:

  1. Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;
  2. Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and
  3. Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by re-building our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.

We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.

Now none of the Mod’s claims can be fully verified, but it does seem to make sense, especially if you take a look at the timeline he compiles about the events that took place.

What do you think happened?

Stay tuned.

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