Another PlayStation Network Update – Security & Sony Online Entertainment
Whilst the PlayStation Network remains down, we do at least have some good news for you. Posted over at the Official PlayStation Blog, the head of communications for SCEE, Nick Caplin, has posted some information, clarifying some of the finer details of the previous security system.
On Tuesday, April 26 we shared that some information that was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. Once again, we’d like to apologize to the many users who were inconvenienced and worried abut this situation.
We want to state this again given the increase in speculation about credit card information being used fraudulently. One report indicated that a group tried to sell millions of credit card numbers back to Sony. To my knowledge there is no truth to this report of a list, or that Sony was offered an opportunity to purchase the list.
One other point to clarify is from this weekend’s press conference. While the passwords that were stored were not “encrypted,” they were transformed using a cryptographic hash function. There is a difference between these two types of security measures which is why we said the passwords had not been encrypted. But I want to be very clear that the passwords were not stored in our database in cleartext form. For a description of the difference between encryption and hashing, follow this link.
To reiterate a few other security measures for your information: Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well. To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports.
We continue to work with law enforcement and forensic experts to identify the criminals behind the attack. Once again, we apologize for causing users concern over this matter.
Our objective is to increase security so our customers can safely and confidently play games and use our network and media services. We will continue to provide updates as we have them.
It isn’t all good news though, as Sony Online Entertainment have also revealed that they too were breached in these malicious attacks! Again, from Nick Caplin:
Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment announced today that their ongoing investigation of illegal intrusions into Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE, the company) systems revealed yesterday morning (May 2, Tokyo time) that hackers may have stolen SOE customer information on April 16th and 17th, 2011 (PDT). SOE is based in San Diego, California, U.S.A.
This information, which was discovered by engineers and security consultants reviewing SOE systems, showed that personal information from approximately 24.6 million SOE accounts may have been stolen, as well as certain information from an outdated database from 2007. The information from the outdated database that may have been stolen includes approximately 12,700 non-U.S. credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security codes), and about 10,700 direct debit records of certain customers in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain.
With the current outage of the PlayStation® Network and Qriocity™ services and the ongoing investigation into the recent attacks, SOE had also undertaken an intensive investigation into its system. Upon discovery of this additional information, the company promptly shut down all servers related to SOE services while continuing to review and upgrade all of its online security systems in the face of these unprecedented cyber-attacks.
On May 1, Sony apologized to its customers for the inconvenience caused by its network services outages. The company is working with the FBI and continuing its own full investigation while working to restore all services.
Sony is making this disclosure as quickly as possible after the discovery of the theft, and the company has posted information on its website and will send e-mails to all consumers whose data may have been stolen.
The personal information of the approximately 24.6 million SOE accounts that was illegally obtained, to the extent it had been provided to SOE, is as follows:
- e-mail address
- phone number
- login name
- hashed password
In addition to the information above, the 10,700 direct debit records from accounts in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain, include:
- bank account number
- customer name
- account name
- customer address
SOE will grant customers 30 days of additional time on their subscriptions, in addition to compensating them one day for each day the system is down. It is also in the process of outlining a “make good” plan for its PlayStation®3 MMOs (DC Universe Online and Free Realms). More information will be released this week.
Additionally, the company is committed to helping its customers protect their personal data and will provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs. The implementation will be at a local level and further details will be made available shortly in each region.
We’ll bring you more information the moment we have it!