Sony has suffered some pretty massive data leaks in the past decade, with the first security breach occurring back in 2011, with the following breach in 2014. Fast-forward to 2021, hackers are still using the same exploits to target Sony and its database, using console IDs of PS3 owners, which prompted a series of ongoing console bans from customers who apparently did nothing wrong.
According to a forum post on PSNProfiles, a user named GRUDGER666 confirmed that the ban issued by Sony was explicitly directed to consoles and not the PSN ID. He specified that he tried to use his console to log into PSN Network but was met with a message explaining that Sony temporarily banned or suspended the console. He confirmed his claims by successfully using his PSN ID on another PS3 console. But GRUDGER666 did nothing wrong to warrant a ban. According to him, all he did before the ban was watch Netflix on his now-banned console.
Other users confirmed GRUDGER666’s report, receiving similar bans across all PS3 models every manufactured and released by Sony, with a few unfortunate outcomes. While some users reported only 24-hours console bans, others were banned for 72 hours, with a rare few reporting that their bans were permanent. The main issue lies in the console’s communication with Sony’s online servers, causing them to think that the innocent console is trying to jailbreak – which is a clear violation of the copyright law. But the GRUDGER666 isn’t the first to fall victim to Sony’s data leak.
One of the first to report on this issue was the Spanish YouTuber, TheWizWiki, when he posted a video on the subject back in April, claiming that this breach could result in millions of PS3 consoles being banned. Though his video is in Spanish, TheWizWiki explains that the hacking community found the serial numbers for PS3 consoles without much effort (possibly in previous data breaches) and spread them within their entire community for nefarious use.
Though the numbers of affected consoles were initially low, they continue to rise. As a result, many are now concerned about their own systems, especially since Sony gave no official response to the supposed hack. The initial reports detail that the hack might’ve resulted from a lack of proper protection for console IDs, but Sony gave no official statements about a new breach in their system. So, it’s entirely possible that the supposed breach didn’t occur and that the ongoing bans are the result of previous data breaches, one of which compromised users’ credit card information.
This is just another in line of other sad news for PS3 owners, whose systems are largely being neglected because of Sony’s focus on their current console, the PS5. The company previously announced but has since backed down talk of shutting down the digital storefronts for the PS3 – a decision that might’ve stemmed from the increased number of PlayStation 3 hacks in the first place. However, Sony elaborated their decision differently, stating that the shutting down of PS3 will enable the company to provide a better experience for PS4 and PS5. In their latest news, the company plans to pull the plug on GTA Online servers for PS3 with no plans for any user migration to be allowed for the new system.
Given Sony’s lack of response to the current situation and the increased number of console IDs being sold for cheap on black markets, the fandom has to wonder – what’s really the truth behind Sony’s lack of response? Are they purposefully neglecting the matter in hopes of pushing the PS3 into complete obsolescence? Or are there other things at play here? Maybe they just don’t like users who watch Netflix on their consoles.