Yesterday, an exploit was found and distributed online that allowed people to get an advantage in the race to get the limited edition 20th Anniversary Edition PlayStation 4 consoles. That exploit was then used successfully earlier today, prompting Sony to respond.
Essentially, the exploit allowed hackers to get their hands on the URL of a site that gives access to special forms that need to be filled out in order to be able to purchase one of these limited edition consoles. Since Sony had said that only a small number of forms will be accepted and the hackers were able to fill out the forms ahead of time, this gave them a hugely unfair advantage.
According to a Sony employee that spoke to Eurogamer, the company began having numerous troubles with the contest website and servers.
The whole thing has been a mess. Server issues, wrong links being displayed for folks doing it ‘properly’, the fact that they have not announced yesterday’s winners prior to this morning’s competition going live. Just a mess.
Due to the issues with the site and the clearly unfair advantages some people had in the contest, Sony released a statement saying that anyone using these early URLs to fill out the forms early will be disqualified. In addition, the company beefed up their website security, which they said will hopefully make it more difficult for the hackers to cheat.
Unfortunately we are now aware of some users attempting to run programmes to reveal the URL early and give themselves an unfair advantage. Users we identify as using these tactics will be disqualified from the process and will continue to be. Since reports of this behaviour surfaced we have been adding additional encryptions and will continue to do so in advance of the final clue tomorrow.
What do you think of this whole mess? Let us know in the comments.