A distributed denial-of-service attack is the cause of recent PlayStation Network problems according to tweets from within the company
The PlayStation network has been taken down for maintenance following an alleged DDoS attack. Believed to have happened on Sunday 24th August, attacks are also reported to have hit online games World of Warcraft and League of Legends.
Sony Online’s John Smedley tweeted earlier confirming a DDoS attack;
We are under attack by a large scale ddos. Being dealt with but it will impact games until its handled.— John Smedley (@j_smedley) August 24, 2014
With Sony later tweeting to say
Network update: our engineers are aware of the issues and are working to resolve them. We'll keep you posted - sorry for the inconvenience— PlayStation (@PlayStation) August 24, 2014
At the time of writing it appears some people are already able to get back onto PSN, although some may still get a message saying services are down for maintenance.
A distributed denial of service attack attempts to deliberately overwhelm a server by flooding it with traffic, as such this recent attack won’t be a repeat of the 2011 PSN outage, when the network's security systems were compromised.