Sony PSN still struggling in wake of Christmas DDoS attacks

Frustrated users were still taking to Twitter to complain and Sony’s Playstation Network support page still showed intermittent connectivity Monday night in the wake of a serious wave on attacks that took both Sony’s gaming service and Microsoft’s Xbox services offline on Christmas Day.

The denial of service attacks hit the companies where it hurt, affecting millions of customers as they were unwrapping new consoles and games, some of which needed to be connected to their respective networks to work. Microsoft’s Xbox site reports that the Xbox service is running as of Monday night, but the IGN and Maxim apps are experiencing problems, but the Sony network seems to have some deeper problems. A colleague of mine reports that he couldn’t connect his PS3.

We have reached out to Sony for comment, and will update the story if we hear back. The “Lizard Squad,” a group of hackers taking credit for the DDoS attacks, had said it was moving on to target Tor, the anonymous routing software, so it’s unclear if Sony is experiencing new attacks or continued trouble from the previous ones.

For those trying to get their Playstations back online, Sony is tweeting out a link so users can attempt to reconnect:

Reports: US to confirm North Korea behind the Sony hack

After much speculation, the U.S. government will reportedly confirm soon, as early as Thursday, that North Korea was responsible for the massive hack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, according to multiple reports from CNN, NBC and The New York Times. According to NBC, unnamed U.S. officials said that while the attacks originated outside the reclusive nation, the hackers were operating under orders from the North Korean government.

The mega hack, which started on November 24, took down Sony’s email systems and resulted in the leak of five movies — including Annie and To Write Love on Her Arms — as well as employee social security numbers, medical records and salary information. Private emails between Sony officials were also leaked and generated a lot of embarrassing attention for Sony.

The hack sent Sony on a downward spiral as it dealt with the ramifications of having private emails and sensitive documents unleashed to the public. On Tuesday, Sony employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for not providing enough security around their data and not taking the appropriate measures to protect them once their data was known to be breached.

On Wednesday, [company]Sony[/company] officially cancelled the December 25 release of the action-comedy movie The Interview, starring Seth Rogan and James Franco. The movie centers around a pair of Americans who have been assigned to assassinate Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s dictator-leader.

The decision to stop the movie’s screening came in light of a hacker group taking credit for the attack and indicating that some sort of violence would occur at theaters that play the movie.

North Korea previously denied that it was involved with the hack, but also seemed to enjoy the devastation it caused, according to a report in The New York Times.

In early December, a North Korean government spokesman told the BBC in response to the hack allegations, “The hostile forces are relating everything to the DPRK (North Korea). I kindly advise you to just wait and see.”

Secure cloud firm Tresorit boosts hacker bounty to $25,000

Cloud storage outfit Tresorit still hasn’t been hacked, it would like the world to know. Having posted a $10,000 hacker bounty in April, the firm has now upped the stakes to $25,000 and invited researchers from the likes of MIT and Stanford to take up the challenge. Tresorit is trying to pitch itself to the security-conscious – it encrypts data before it leaves the device, and it recently moved its operations from Hungary to Switzerland, claiming Swiss neutrality laws would provide extra jurisdictional protection for its users.