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PlayStation Network suffers another security breach

3 min read


No the PSN has not been hacked again, don’t believe the hysterical headlines there is no new security risk on the PSN.

It has however detected a security breach and 93 000 accounts have been compromised.

According to Philip Reitinger who is the Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer for Sony Group their internal security monitoring has picked up a massive sign in attempt on their service.

Most of these attempts have failed but around 93 000 have succeeded already and as such these accounts have been put on hold to ensure no information is lost.

At the time of writing no credit card data is known to have been compromised and the sign in data being used looks like it has come from a hack from someone else’s system.

Right now investigations are still ongoing but if you were affected there is very little to worry about, you will receive an email asking you to reset your password and then you can continue as normal.

This is a much better response from Sony to a security issue, they’ve obviously learned from the last time.

We want to let you know that 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. 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. Please note, if you have a credit card associated with your account, your credit card number is not at risk. We will work with any users whom we confirm have had unauthorized purchases made to restore amounts in the PSN/SEN or SOE wallet.

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. 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.

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

Last Updated: October 12, 2011

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