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Sony Executive’s Flight Diverted as Game Network Down

Sony Corp., maker of the world’s best-selling video-game console, said a flight carrying the president of its online entertainment unit was diverted for a security issue after the PlayStation Network was knocked offline.

The threat of “explosive material” on the flight carrying John Smedley was referred to the FBI, Satoshi Nakajima, a spokesman for Tokyo-based Sony, said today. American Airlines Flight 362 from Dallasto San Diego was diverted to Phoenix for a security-related issue, Michelle Mohr, a spokeswoman for the carrier, said by phone.

Sony’s PlayStation Network, which enables gamers to play each other online and access content, was hit by a so-called denial of service after it was overwhelmed by hackers driving artificially high traffic to its servers. The company is still investigating the outage, and no personal information was accessed, it said.

A Twitter Inc. account with the name Lizard Squad posted messages claiming responsibility for the PlayStation Network outage and also comments about explosives being on Smedley’s plane.

Smedley posted on his verified Twitter account of his planned flight to San Diego before Lizard Squad’s message about explosives was posted.

“Yes. My Plane was diverted. Not going to discuss more than that. Justice will find these guys,” Smedley wrote on Twitter after the plane landed.

In 2011, Sony suspended operations on the PlayStation Network for six weeks after a hacking attack, which led to the theft of data from more than 100 million accounts.

The company said it improved security after that attack by increasing firewalls and adding software to monitor intrusions and system vulnerabilities.

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/