PlayStation Hack Is Getting Innocent Players Banned
PlayStation owners have been warned, as a seemingly devastating hack is getting players banned for no reason. Despite the PlayStation 3's veteran status, there are still plenty of us who have it sitting pride of place in our games room and regularly jump into a round of Grand Theft Auto IV, LittleBigPlanet, or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 like they were originally intended.
While the industry has moved on a lot since the PS3's release in 2008, it isn't all scrambling to find a PS5 and playing Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. The latest hack is running rife in the PS3 community and inadvertently cutting retro gamers off from the PlayStation Network forever.
Why are PlayStation players being banned by a hack?
Even though the PS3's lifespan officially ended in 2017, there's still a loyal community out there. A heated debate erupted on the PSNProfiles discussion board, where user GUDGER666 started a thread by explaining they'd heard about users being banned.
The post kicked off by citing a Spanish YouTube video that explained a massive PS3 data leak that reportedly shared console IDs on the internet. Since the leak, GUDGER666 said they've noticed "an increase in people saying they have been banned when they have done nothing. Also seen people saying they have seen an increase in people selling PS3 IDs for cheap".
Things took a turn when GUDGER666 said their PSN ID hasn't been banned, but a specific console (they were able to log in on their other PS3) has. GUDGER666 claimed their main PS3 has been barred and is only useable for Netflix. Others soon flooded the forum and said their PS3 has been struck with a similar issue. There seems to be no logic to the bans, with models varying from the PS3 slim to the super-slim.
Could a PlayStation hack really cause PS3 owners to be banned?
It might all sound a little tinfoil hat, but tracing things back, the general consensus is that it all started with the massive data breach of 2011. Back then, hackers broke into the PS3's security systems, while a later leak in 2014 saw millions of users' data stolen. By the looks of the latest potential leak, it combines all of the above.
Although some think the bans could last between 48 and 72 hours - suggesting we might not notice - others say the PS3 bans are permanent. Added to this, there's some suspicious timing. Only recently, Sony tried to overhaul the way its digital storefronts work and close the PS3 and PS Vita stores. There was a massive outcry and the decision was reversed, but it's been speculated that Sony knew there was a potential data leak on the horizon.
Sony is yet to respond to claims there's another PS3 hack tearing through the beloved console, but in the meantime, players are advised to keep an eye on their old systems and regularly check they can get on. Sadly, if you're one of those who has been permanently banned, there doesn't seem to be a solution to your console conundrum right now.