PSN Down With NW-31456-9 Error Code, Reportedly Attacked [UPDATE]

Although PSN maintenance was confirmed for tomorrow, PSN in its entirety appears to be down at the moment, with any attempt to access the service showing the NW-31456-9 error code.

“Cannot connect to the server within the time limit.” reads the warning, and that may suggest a DDoS attack where the server is overloaded with requests, preventing users from accessing the services. The group responsible appears to be LizardSquad, who are claiming on twitter that they did this to end Sony’s greed.

PSN being attacked in such a way isn’t something new – it happened a few years ago which led to the service being down for weeks, preventing people from getting online and playing their games. If that happens again, it’s going to be a huge blow for Sony. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope they get it back online soon and this doesn’t happen again.

UPDATE:  Sony have confirmed that the network is down due to a DDoS attack rather than a hack.

Like other major networks around the world, the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network have been impacted by an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic.

Although this has impacted your ability to access our network and enjoy our services, no personal information has been accessed.

We will continue to work towards fixing this issue and hope to have our services up and running as soon as possible.

We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.

Blizzard,, Riot Games and other sites have also been hit by the attack. The group also posted a tweet to American Airlines reporting a bomb on an aircraft, resulting in the flight being diverted. I suspect they will be getting a visit from the authorities quite soon.

Of course the internet being what it is, some have seen the more amusing side of the problem.

UPDATE #2: Apparently it’s not the LizardSquad, it is some other muppet and the reptiles are taking credit. Not that anyone cares.

UPDATE #3: The FBI are now investigating the bomb threats posted by LizardSquad to American Airlines Flight 362, the aircraft carrying John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment.

UPDATE #4: In the wee hours of the morning, PSN began to come back up and appears almost completely back to normal now. No word on whether or not the planned PSN maintenance for today will go on as scheduled in the wake of these events, but it’s probably best to assume that it will.




  1. If their intentions were so noble they would use thier skills to make psn better instead of this fame hunting bullshit.

  2. Well, it’s back up now thank godness.

    Sad to say that these sorts of attacks are now common place (seen fotums closed for days because of them, plus lost count of number of companies, since Sony/PSN hack occurred that have had database’s hacked into, customers had to change passwords etc).

    What i’d very much love to see the media do, when reporting on attacks like these, is simply report a service being down, possibly die to a DDOS attack, but NOT publically name the TOSSERS behind it, as by naming them, media is simply playing into their hands and giving them publicity.

    If they cannot understand that Sony (and the rest) need to make a profit, to invest in future products/services etc, then that in itself is pretty damn ignorant, but killing what little gaming time many of us have by pulling shit like this and bringing PSN down, if even for just a few hours, is pig ignorant.

    They’ve clearly some technical skills and long to make a name for themselves, so why not prove just how ‘special’ your group is and doing something creative? make a game, assist with keeping networks secure, i dunno, something that could get you the media coverage, but in a manner where your actually seen as helping the community, not basically pissing in it’s back yard.

    Until they do this, please, don’t name the groups involved, other wise you end with a pissing contest of who (among these groups) can hit more companies faster, do more damage etc.

    • Agreed. Unless they’re completely stupid they know full well this hasn’t affected sony. It’s ruined Sunday for a lot of us who work and don’t get a chance to play. Goodbye double xp weekend bf4. LizardFags haven’t accomplished anything.

  3. Mine’s still down:(

  4. Amazing that a few bored kids can bring down something so big. Hopefully now they’ve had their internet fame they’ll move onto something else.

    • A DDoS attack is pretty easy to do and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. It’s a cowardly thing to do in my opinion.

  5. Weird- I can sign in on PS3- but not PS4!

  6. The PSN would work fine if they didn’t bring it down. Such a counterintuitive attack.

    I hope they all trip on a cerb tomorrow and break something.

  7. This isn’t about social justice and a fairer deal for the consumer. Nothing more than a self serving wannabe hacker massaging their own ego. The irony is that Sony will garner more support as a result.

  8. …and the dickhead of the year award goes too…Lizard Squad.

  9. I’m really torn by this. I see both sides. I realise why the hackers are being disruptive, as an anti-corporate protest, as well as to wake customers up to how they might be being screwed on PSN service.

    At the same time though I’m not sure how the hell they know how much of the profit is being reinvested into PSN for the benefit of consumers.

    On the other hand the customers are the ones taking the major hit not being able to play online. Sony aren’t losing much in terms of trade as I imagine most people will just wait a few hours to buy a game/film.

    All in all a complex issue, and one with many facets. Surprised to see such a lip-sided view on the TSA, but I guess it’s an inevitable bias on a playstation-centric game site.

  10. Put it this way:

    How do you think these hackers would feel if suddenly they had no electric or gas or mains water because another group had decided to target the big energy/water companies after hearing of more massive profits being reported or they went to pay a bill, take money out and the systems were down because someone was targeting the banks after yet another Bankers Bonus story?

    Or lets go 1 step further..they could’nt get medical treatment, even routine because the doctors/dentists system was down because some group had an issue with the private health care companies or a beef with the NHS?.

    Ok, PSN being down is really no big deal, 1st world problems and all that, yeah people like myself get bloody annoyed, but no lives lost etc.

    But the principle remains the same, IF your intentionally bringing a service down because company behind it makes a profit, where do you decide who’s justified in terms of being a worthy target?.

    Sure attacks like this are on ‘soft targets’ but i’m sorry, you (they) cannot use any form of moral high ground to justify it, as if your going after profit making companies, there’s simply no line in the sand that can be drawn, you really have to target all or none.

    In fact, rather than drag these morons through the courts, if they are ever caught, i’d start f**king about with entertainment services they pay for, use on a daily basis or their internet or phone service, after all ISP’s, phone companies post huge profits, see how ‘clever’ they find it then….

    If your not happy with profits Sony make? easy bloody answer, DON’T buy their goods, sign up to their services, go elsewhere.No one puts a gun to any of our heads and says you must use X,Y or Z, but there’s no justification for ruining the spare time of those that do choose to go with a company.

    • I’d ban them from having internet access as they’ve shown they can’t be trusted with it. Though of course it would be very difficult to enforce.

    • Exactly this! How anyone can argue that a large company attempting to make a profit is a bad thing, I’ll never know. That’s business! The PSN\SEN is not a public service, a charity, or a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation… Ultimately, they’re in it to make money.

      It’s just an excuse for some kid to try and get some attention. Like I said before; not enough hugs.

      • The guy claiming responsibility on twitter runs a call of duty clan on ps3/4. I’m suspect he got owned online and this is his way of getting back at them. Damn kids.

      • wow buddy. I’m neutral on the issue of the PSN hack (as I don’t think I know enough of the deets) but to say that any large company attempting to make a profit is always a good thing is a bit far isn’t it? I’ll just give you some recent examples… BP when trying to get out of paying for the mess they made in the gulf in 2010 (getting out of it would have made their share-holders loads of profit)… This year General Motors had the highest product recall in their history… oh and lets not forget Goldman Sachs and the like in the 2008 sub-prime mortgage scandal. Just sayin’

      • To be honest, my comment was towards the “hackers” justification for his actions, rather than your comment.

        But in fairness, you can’t compare the likes of a major car manufacture cutting corners and playing with its passengers’ safety to save a few quid, or BP, or even Goldman Sachs, to an online gaming service. Guess it depends on context really… I stand by my summary though; it’s business, where profit is the ultimate goal in order to develop and thrive.

      • So, no offence was intended towards you.

      • ah well, that clears that up. Just seemed like some crazy neo-liberal ‘free market’ loving sweeping statement. no offence taken sir ;)

      • Haha, no, sorry fella. That’s why I replied to Von Braun, not you :-)

        And I didn’t mean it as “a good thing” just that that’s the nature of business… Not necessarily the be all and end all but the bottom line, at least. Doing this to highlight a security issue, I can buy that (although if it were me I’d say “point made” by now, or just tell um), but because they are out to make a profit is BS, or spoken by a kid who doesn’t know how the world works…

    • @The Von Braun
      As I stated above, I totally understand your point and agree with your ‘where do you draw the line’ argument. It’s so hard to know if these hackers are doing these things with good intentions or not. That’s why i’m taking a middle-ground view on this. ‘I’ for one don’t know nearly enough about the ins and outs of this particular issue, so can’t be confident enough to take one side or the other, let alone justify that position without sounding like a little fanboy-capitalist bitch! There’s no doubting that organisations like Lulz and Anonymous have done great things for internet transparency and consumer interests…but they’ve also done some god awful things for law abiding and generally decent companies and corporations.

      My point is ultimately the same…it’s a complex issue.

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