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Monday
May022011

Breaking News: Sony pulls gaming service after 24.6 million more user accounts are stolen

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Sony has been forced to cut off its Sony Online Entertainment service after another 24.6 million user accounts have been compromised by hackers Sony said in a press release. This is the second such instance of customer data being accessed on Sony online gaming and entertainment services and brings the total number of compromised user accounts breached to 100 million, which is unprecedented.

The first attack which took place  April 20th, forcing Sony to pull the plug on its PlayStation Network and Qriocity streaming services after 77 million user accounts were exposed. These services have not gone back online.

The attack on Sony's online services, which have critical user information such as names, addresses and passwords has earned the ire of customers and observers who are aware that this information can be used by hackers to access other services, commit fraud and ultimately lead to identity theft. 12,700 non-U.S. credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security codes) were also taken.

Hit the jump is Sony's recent press release on the matter.

SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES
THEFT OF DATA FROM ITS SYSTEMS

Breach Believed to Stem From Initial Criminal Hack of SOE

Tokyo, May 3, 2011 - 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information from approximately 24.6 million SOE accounts may have been stolen, as well as certain information from an outdated database from 2007. 

The information from the outdated database that may have been stolen includes approximately 12,700 non-U.S. credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security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:

  • name
  • address
  • e-mail address
  • birthdate
  • gender
  • 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.

 

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