Sony is Reaching for the Dubious Record of Maximum Downtime

41 days… Sony plans to restart PSN on 2011-5-31 after 41 days of downtime. They were breached and huge amounts of data were stolen. The downtime seems to be more than a restore-from-bare-metal or new hardware. This seems like a redesign and rebuild.

Stories have been written that PSN was using an obsolete/unpatched version of Apache totally insecure under current threats and this long downtime seems to support that. Sony claims its software was patched “recently”. If PSN were anywhere close to being robust it would simply have been restored and accounts reset.

This does demonstrate that Sony believes its customers are seriously locked-in, sufficiently to hang around waiting for so long. This should be a lesson to everyone to rely on folks who care about end-users rather than the cash-cow. This should be a lesson to everyone that lock-in, while comfortable at times, is dangerous. Fortunately there are moves toward more open hardware like thin clients/server systems and more open hardware like Android/Linux or GNU/Linux. Sony, while totally freaky about PSN has opened the Sony-Experia smart phones to Linux completely. It’s hard to believe those two products are from the same corporation. Perhaps one branch has no clue what the other is doing and could learn from that.

I prefer to stick with more open systems so that problems can be worked around rather than resulting in calamity. I have seen too many instances where that other OS fell apart and people had to pull the plug to remain secure. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux because security is built in to the package handling, bug-reporting and Free Software systems. Instead of going from one crisis to another in applications, I can ask the package manager to update the software and it just happens. Priceless. Sony was using Free Software in part but did not take advantage of its full capability.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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