What do you do when your system has been compromised to the tune of 70 mill profiles? Well you keep an appointment to a safe conference where there will be a bunch of VP’s speaking, debating, moderating and generally VPeeing on everything while NO ONE gets into you about…well, your bad week. Mostly gray haired cats and chicks at their board room prime concerned with monetizing, revenue streaming, platform expansion and…oh yeah, system securities.
What you ain’t gonna see is a bunch of Red Bulled, sore thumbed, AXE scented, adolescent minded, porn driven all-fuckin’-weekend gaming gamers screaming bloody murder at one of the largest WTF moments since internet Security was invented and immediately hacked, re-invented, and then…hacked again. Nope when your security system is chopped into like an old school can of Pabst, you walk into a gaming conference that has more CEO’s, CFO’s, CIO’s, DIR’s, GM’s, VP’s, LLC Partners and Senior so-and-so’s than a Hooker Lounge two blocks from Wall Street. And when you speak you speak with folk who have more to do with corporate financial innovation than UI innovation. A place where, literally, you are the only game (or game counsel) in town......
What? Did you say that THE guy who prolly knows more than anyone about what was going down the next day was at a gaming conference?
Yep, Buser and PlayStationNetwork Home account Manager Ray Bautista and some icy lawyer-lookin’ person named “Karen” stood around in various stages of mannequiniosity while thedarkroome threw out lob after lob about this huge situation. It was for not and, except for Karen’s “The Nintendo platform change is just a rumor…” vibe, they milled and cheered everything AROUND the elephant in the room.
Buser gleaned like John Lennon’s real son…Ray held down the edgy, Beiber-haired skinny jeaned gamer niche while Karen looked blank-faced and scary…Moreover all three seemed enthused to go through the number convos on network set ups and speed systems and Buser’s speech.
Oh yeah he spoke.
We missed it. But the Topic was: Social Games is Still About Games. Of course you can’t miss the irony that even as he spoke, “The Hack”, as it will come to be known, was unraveling that theory by reportedly stealing pass words, addresses, security questions, possibly credit card numbers and other information tied to chatting, Amazon and Sony Music and was tailor made for the high school identity-theft artist in need of a couple of mill worth of easy credit (remember, the projected number of the affected is 70million!!!)---all from a gaming platform. In fact, yesterday Sony’s breach became the milestone in proving that Social Gaming is MUCH more than games…and may do so in devastating fashion.
…meanwhile…Mike Patcher of Wedbush stood by and gave a loud and folksy arm-punching diatribe to the Sony crew/petrified forest on how this was a big glitch that Sony will fix and then announce as having been fixed and then move on without much explanation. He denied an interview on camera but said plainly that gamers will hang in there and Sony won’t have to admit much past a ‘security breach’. He went on to say that his twitter account was a lot of work and then boasted about his Call of Duty username…Thunderhump…okay that wasn’t it but we swear to you that it was something like that….
Up until ten days ago, most of us were willing to, but here’s where it gets deep…
…The entire internet is faith based…
We all believe that the info our ISP has is safe. Or that our Paypal account is safe. Or eBay. That our Apple Store and Amazon and Facebook and darkroome and Ustream and Blogger and Blogtalk and Four Square and 155,272 apps and, yes, SonyPlaystationNetwork…is safe.
But what if it isn’t.
Here was the under byte vibe just hours after the play station shutdown; A man found an exploit in the PSN, used it and then posted it online. A few weeks later Sony, with a gaggle of lawyers, came down on the man. ANONYMOUS then warned Sony to pick on somebody their own size. Sony brushed ANONYMOUS off like ant dander. ANONYMOUS smashed into Sony’s data base like Klingonese disruptor…and here we stand.
Like we said no one would even address it so the rumor looks kinda nutz. The only thing crazier is acting like The Hack hasn’t happened. That’s the cynical side of Patcher’s upbeat pep talk. That the band was simply playing on. But think about it. Every one of the company chieftains’ and heads’ cash flow is dependent on cold hard credit transfers. If their systems can be yanked and pulled down for ideological reasons then where does that leave them? Because capitalism and what can be called the socialized cyber-libertarianism of ANONYMOUS are, essentially, at odds.
Which one of the Huffington Posts tireless “volunteer” writers wouldn’t have appealed to said group for a shutdown of the HuffPo because of the seemingly seedy $300 mill sale to AOL, where said writers received bupkiss? Who wouldn’t like to see foreclosure lawyers hacked? Or for that matter…ANY lawyers?
Moreover, how does a room full of professionals not feel the burn of their OWN personal accounts’ vulnerability? Probably because they are in plush rooms and eating dainty dishes using expense accounts. But if the rumor be true whose inter-neck would be slated to be hacked off first? The little guy or the big guy who decided not to even acknowledge the breach?
The scariest part to all this is that Patcher might be correct. It could be fixed and announced quickly and pushed to the back. Of the main page that is. We here at thedarkroome feel that this is gonna change the internet despite where the story is placed and that missing the scene won’t get you points or tame this giant monstrosity call the internet. Because, just on the cusp of complete entertainment platform full integration, with only direct tv and movie downloads missing, a small Black Hole opens and swallows the arrogance of firewall and cloud and redundant safety. Something moders and hackers all know. NOTHING is safe. If even part of that ANONYMOUS rumor is true, all of the big lettered folk need to check their egos at the door ‘cause the NEXT time they’re all in the same room---it’s gonna be a long night.
--brandon n. bowlin is editor and a contributor of and to thedarkroome