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PlayStation Network Blog: Personal Information at Risk

News; Apr. 26, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Jason Winstanley
Subtypes: News

As many gamers -- and probably most nongamers -- are aware, last Wednesday, Sony Entertainment group took down the servers for its PlayStation Network and Qriocity systems due to unknown maintenance. Since the services were taken offline, Sony released a blog update stating that the PSN was down due to an "external intrusion," but as to what that defines, the company was vague. Over the course of six days, Sony has been diligent in clarifying what it's doing with the blog and has constantly mentioned it's rebuilding said servers to ensure that an intrusion doesn't happen again.

PlayStation 3

However, part of the full story appears to have been released by Sony itself today in its daily PSN blog update, from which we quote Nick Caplin, European Head of Communications:

We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. 

Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state/province, zip or postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity passwords and login and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence that credit card data was taken at this time, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, to be on the safe side we are advising that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may also have been obtained.

For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security, tax identification or similar 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.

In essence, the following data may have been disclosed to an unknown-as-of-yet person:

  • Name
  • Address (city, state/province, zip or postal code)
  • Country
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • PlayStation Network/Qriocity passwords and login
  • Handle/PSN online ID

Mr. Caplin added: "It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained."

Anyone concerned about online safety is advised to change details such as user names and passwords where possible, and anyone who wants to contact Sony about this event is advised to check this page here.

Update: Sony today publised a Q&A post to their official blog, of which one question that would be on most gamers lips was answered. When will the PSN service be back online? Sony had this to say:

Q: When will the PlayStation Network and Qriocity be back online?
A: Our employees have been working day and night to restore operations as quickly as possible, and we expect to have some services up and running within a week from yesterday. However, we want to be very clear that we will only restore operations when we are confident that the network is secure.

 

Comments

rfludwick

rfludwick - Apr. 26, 2011 at 4:16:54pm

Thank you Sony for causing so many CPU cycles today to be dedicated to credit report fraud alerts and reports, as well as an infinite number of password changes across the web.

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