Fresh hack rocks PlayStation Network

Ben Parfitt
Fresh hack rocks PlayStation Network

Sony has this morning confirmed that its PlayStation Network, as well as the Sony Entertainment Network and Sonly Online Entertainment, has for the second time been a victim of a cyber attack.

Though significantly smaller than the high-profile breach that forced the closure of the network earlier this year, the company says that around 93,000 accounts were compromised in this latest incident.

And by the sounds of it, that was just a fraction of what the intruders attempted to achieve,

“We have detected attempts on Sony Entertainment Network, PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment (“Networks”) services to test a massive set of sign-in IDs and passwords against our network database,” a statement confirmed.

“These attempts appear to include a large amount of data obtained from one or more compromised lists from other companies, sites or other sources.

“In this case, given that the data tested against our network consisted of sign-in ID-password pairs, and that the overwhelming majority of the pairs resulted in failed matching attempts, it is likely the data came from another source and not from our Networks. We have taken steps to mitigate the activity.

“Less than one tenth of one percent (0.1%) of our PSN, SEN and SOE audience may have been affected. There were approximately 93,000 accounts globally (PSN/SEN: approximately 60,000 accounts; SOE: approximately 33,000) where the attempts succeeded in verifying those accounts’ valid sign-in IDs and passwords, and we have temporarily locked these accounts.

“Only a small fraction of these 93,000 accounts showed additional activity prior to being locked. We are currently reviewing those accounts for unauthorized access, and will provide more updates as we have them.”

Sony has confirmed that no credit card data was stolen and that it will reimburse anyone who found credit debited from their account following this new breach.

“As a preventative measure, we are requiring secure password resets for those PSN/SEN accounts that had both a sign-in ID and password match through this attempt,” Sony continued.

“If you are in the small group of PSN/SEN users who may have been affected, you will receive an email from us at the address associated with your account that will prompt you to reset your password.

“Similarly, the SOE accounts that were matched have been temporarily turned off. If you are among the small group of affected SOE customers, you will receive an email from us at the address associated with your account that will advise you on next steps in order to validate your account credentials and have your account turned back on.”

Interestingly, the company chose not to apologise for the incident and instead remind consumers that cyber crime is a growing menace.

“We want to take this opportunity to remind our consumers about the increasingly common threat of fraudulent activity online, as well as the importance of having a strong password and having a username/password combination that is not associated with other online services or sites,” Sony concluded.

“We encourage you to choose unique, hard-to-guess passwords and always look for unusual activity in your account.”

The most important thing for Sony is that this time PSN remains up and running. However, how consumer confidence fares toward PSN remains to be seen.

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Tags: hack , psn , new , soe , hacked , playstation network

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1 comment

"Interestingly, the company chose not to apologise for the incident and instead remind consumers that cyber crime is a growing menace."

Slightly odd thing to say, Ben - why should Sony apologise for what sounds like a simple brute-force hack, relying on the laziness of users using duplicate credentials? That could happen to any online service that has a username/password login system - even MCVuk.com!

Tony Coles

Tony Coles INDUSTRY
Oct 12th 2011 at 12:13PM

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