Playstation Network shut down to prevent piracy bonanza?

An interesting rumour has appeared on reddit.com that the ongoing shutdown of the Playstation Network is down to the release of a piece of custom firmware called Rebug which, with some hacking, essentially turned a normal retail PS3 into a dev console.

Apparently this gave access to Sony’s private developer PSN network. Once there, the authenticity of info provided like credit card numbers was not checked and a huge potential for piracy existed.

Well, it also turns out that some people over at NGU found out that you could provide fake CC# info and the authenticity of the information was never checked as you were on Sony’s private developer PSN network (essentially a network that Sony trusted).

What happened next was extreme piracy of PSN content. Sony realizing the issue here shut down the network. Now, before you go freaking out about the latest information posted about Kotaku, no ones personal information was accessible via this hack. Not to say they couldn’t get it, but no one is admitting to it being available. Anyway, that’s the real reason for the PSN downtime.

The reddit poster, Chesh420, is a moderator from PSX-Scene.com and he points out that his theory is speculation since Sony haven’t given an official reason for the downtime, but he has given a timeline as the reasoning behind the theory:

To those of you saying that this is speculation, you are correct. But, it is speculation based on a lot of facts and the outcome seems to make the most sense.
1. Rebug was released on 3/31/11.
2. First guides of how to use the dev network to get back on COD games on 4/3/11. 3. Word of “shady” sites finding a way to pirate PSN content via the dev networks on 4/7/11 (basing this on posts I had to delete on the website).
4. PSN goes down on 4/20/11

Sony shut down the Playstation Network almost a week ago and as of yet, it still hasn’t come back online again. The latest update on the official Playstation blog is from yesterday (25 April), with no details of why exactly the service has gone down or when it’s expected to be operating again.

In an earlier post the company said they would have to completely rebuild their infrastructure after what they called an external intrusion on their system.

Related links:
PlayStation outage caused by hacking attack
Torrent Freak: Playstation Network Shut Down To End Piracy Free-For-All
Did Custom ‘Rebug’ Firmware Kill Sony’s PlayStation Network?‎
Free-download PS3 firmware behind PSN downtime?‎
The Official Playstation Blog