Sony Online Entertainment Networks Also Hacked

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

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Sony Corporation has announced the company's Online Entertainment division was also the target of hackers in April, leading to a previously undisclosed customer data breach event.

The breach announcement comes just two weeks after Sony discovered that the PlayStation Network was the subject of a criminal hacker attack that compromised the accounts of more than 70 million PSN customers.

Sony officials indicate that credit card information has been compromised in the event, most likely only those from an older database related to non-U.S. customers.

Early reports estimate as many as 25 million Sony Online Entertainment accounts have been exposed, bringing the total number of compromised customer accounts to over 100 million.

Sony issued the following press release:

Our ongoing investigation of illegal intrusions into Sony Online Entertainment systems has discovered that hackers may have obtained personal customer information from SOE systems.  We are today advising you that the personal information you provided us in connection with your SOE account may have been stolen in a cyber-attack.   Stolen information includes, to the extent you provided it to us, the following: name, address (city, state, zip, country), email address, gender, birthdate, phone number, login name and hashed password.

Customers outside the United States should be advised that we further discovered evidence that information from an outdated database from 2007 containing approximately 12,700 non-US customer credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security codes) and about 10,700 direct debit records listing bank account numbers of certain customers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Spain may have also been obtained. We will be notifying each of those customers promptly.

There is no evidence that our main credit card database was compromised. It is in a completely separate and secured environment.

We had previously believed that SOE customer data had not been obtained in the cyber-attacks on the company, but on May 1st we concluded that SOE account information may have been stolen and we are notifying you as soon as possible.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the attack and as a result, we have:

1) Temporarily turned off all SOE game services;

2) Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and

3) Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.

We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.

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 number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When SOE's services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your Station or SOE game account 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.

As a result of the latest breach, Sony has suspended all Online Entertainment services until the investigation is complete and new security measures have been established.

Sony announced over the weekend that they will begin a phased restoration of the PSN services as soon as possible, and that the company has already implemented several new security protocols to better ensure customer data.

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