Why the PSN hacking doesn’t reflect as badly on Sony as you think.

The security breach that allowed loose-knit hacker group Anonymous to access the details of around 100m PSN accounts is undoubtedly a blemish on Sony’s reputation. Even rabid fanboys couldn’t seriously argue that it won’t hurt Sony in any way. But whatever personal information was obtained by the online security breach can’t be blamed entirely on Sony, and here’s why.

Many of you may recognise this man. His name is Gary McKinnon, an autistic 45 year old Systems Administrator from Glasgow. He was responsible for hacking into 97 different computers belonging to the United States military and NASA in an attempt to uncover evidence of extra-terrestrial technology being used by the government, causing an on-going extradition battle.

The US has accused him of hacking into their computers and deleting important files, resulting in the shutting down of 2,000 of their computers for a 24 hour period as well as copying restricted documents onto his home computer, all of which is alleged to have cost the US government $700,000. McKinnon denies causing any damage but freely admits to breaking into government computers.

Now you may be wondering what any of this has to do with Sony’s current predicament. Well, it’s simple. It stands to reason that information stored on the US military and NASA computers is going to be considerably more valuable and important than any data stored on the Playstation Network, and thus would be protected a lot better than the bank details of 100m gamers. The point I’m trying to make is that even if Sony had spent several million more to make their secure data even more secure, there’s always going to be someone that could eventually hack into this data if they were determined enough.

If a mentally challenged Scotsman can shut down US military computers for 24 hours from his Glaswegian home, then we shouldn’t be surprised that a group of hackers can break into a video gaming network. Xbox Live has been hacked before; it could easily be hacked again if someone wanted it enough. As could the Steam servers. Try to get some perspective before accusing Sony of a massive failure on their part. Sure, they’ve admitted the PSN had security flaws. But even if these had been fixed it probably wouldn’t be enough to stop a hacker group as determined and relentless as Anonymous.

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