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195w ago - From their [Register or Login to view links] today, Kazuo Hirai has briefed the media on Sony's investigation into the PlayStation Network security breach, PSN security measures and service restoration plans.

Sony stated they plan restore some PSN and Qriocity services this week with the rest during the new month, and confirmed that all existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service while current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.

To quote from Sony's Sr. Director of Corporate Communications & Social Media Patrick Seybold via the official Press Release:

SOME PLAYSTATION NETWORK AND QRIOCITY SERVICES TO BE AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Phased Global Rollout of Services to Begin Regionally; System Security Enhanced to Provide Greater Protection of Personal Information

Tokyo, May 1, 2011 - Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI, the company) announced they will shortly begin a phased restoration by region of PlayStationNetwork and Qriocity™ services, beginning with gaming, music and video services to be turned on.

The company also announced both a series of immediate steps to enhance security across the network and a new customer appreciation program to thank its customers for their patience and loyalty.

Following a criminal cyber-attack on the company's data-center located in San Diego, California, U.S.A., SNEI quickly turned off the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, engaged multiple expert information security firms over the course of several days and conducted an extensive audit of the system.

Since then, the company has implemented a variety of new security measures to provide greater protection of personal information. SNEI and its third-party experts have conducted extensive tests to verify the security strength of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. With these measures in place, SCE and SNEI plan to start a phased rollout by region of the services shortly. The initial phase of the rollout will include, but is not limited to, the following:

• Restoration of Online game-play across the PlayStation3 (PS3) and PSP (PlayStationPortable) systems -This includes titles requiring online verification and downloaded games
• Access to Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3/PSP for existing subscribers
• Access to account management and password reset
• Access to download un-expired Movie Rentals on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
• PlayStationHome
• Friends List
• Chat Functionality

Working closely with several outside security firms, the company has implemented significant security measures to further detect unauthorized activity and provide consumers with greater protection of their personal information.

The company is also creating the position of Chief Information Security Officer, directly reporting to Shinji Hasejima, Chief Information Officer of Sony Corporation, to add a new position of expertise in and accountability for customer data protection and supplement existing information security personnel. The new security measures implemented include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Added automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks
• Enhanced levels of data protection and encryption
• Enhanced ability to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns
• Implementation of additional firewalls

The company also expedited an already planned move of the system to a new data center in a different location that has been under construction and development for several months. In addition, PS3 will have a forced system software update that will require all registered PlayStation Network users to change their account passwords before being able to sign into the service.

As an added layer of security, that password can only be changed on the same PS3 in which that account was activated, or through validated email confirmation, a critical step to help further protect customer data.

The company is conducting a thorough and on-going investigation and working with law enforcement to track down and prosecute those responsible for the illegal intrusion.

"This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry. These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber-security. We take the security of our consumers' information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data.

In addition, the organization has worked around the clock to bring these services back online, and are doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks," said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. "Our global audience of PlayStation Network and Qriocity consumers was disrupted.

We have learned lessons along the way about the valued relationship with our consumers, and to that end, we will be launching a customer appreciation program for registered consumers as a way of expressing our gratitude for their loyalty during this network downtime, as we work even harder to restore and regain their trust in us and our services."

Complimentary Offering and "Welcome Back" Appreciation Program
While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, 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.

The company will also rollout the PlayStation Network and Qriocity "Welcome Back" program, to be offered worldwide, which will be tailored to specific markets to provide our consumers with a selection of service options and premium content as an expression of the company's appreciation for their patience, support and continued loyalty.

Central components of the "Welcome Back" program will include:

• Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon.
• All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.
• Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers (in countries where the service is available) will receive 30 days free service.

Additional "Welcome Back" entertainment and service offerings will be rolled out over the coming weeks as the company returns the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services to the quality standard users have grown to enjoy and strive to exceed those exceptions.

SNEI will continue to reinforce and verify security for transactions before resuming the PlayStation Store and other Qriocity operations, scheduled for this month.

For more information about the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services intrusion and restoration, please visit [Register or Login to view links]. or [Register or Login to view links]







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Comments 341 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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#341 - GrandpaHomer - 193w ago
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Also - one quite suspicious aspect about all this is the "moving to the more secure location" - why would they need to do that if it was purelly outside attack? Or did they hosted it untill now in somebody's bedroom or what??

#340 - daveshooter - 193w ago
daveshooter's Avatar
“a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack,”

This may be true Sony, but they would of needed some small amount of inside help one way or another, whether you admit that or not.

I still do not believe the group that allegedly did this will harm anyone other than pissing off Sony, and if reports come out that they are selling this info, then it will most likely to be fake or some kind of entrapment lol.

Sony was told about this months ago, they didn't find this, Sony didn't know they had a shadow on their system nor would they have, until they was told.

If I remember they was told Sony's system was insecure and needed addressing for the public's safety, and Sony being Sony thought they knew best and did nothing, so the group being the Jedi's nights luckily in this matter have saved the day and saved the data from the evil Sony empire and the black market, and made Sony sit up and smell the coffee and take note to stop this data getting into the wrong hands.

#339 - PS3 News - 193w ago
PS3 News's Avatar
Interesting indeed, +Rep for the update GrandpaHomer.

#338 - GrandpaHomer - 193w ago
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Bloomberg reports:

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)’s Web Services cloud- computing unit was used by hackers in last month’s attack against Sony Corp. (6758)’s online entertainment systems, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Hackers using an alias signed up to rent a server through Amazon’s EC2 service and launched the attack from there, said the person, who requested anonymity because the information is confidential. The account has been shut down, the person said.

The development sheds light on how hackers used the so- called cloud to carry out the second-biggest online theft of personal information to date. The incursion, which compromised the personal accounts of more than 100 million Sony customers, was “a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack,” Sony has said.

Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Seattle-based Amazon, declined to comment.

“We’re continuing to work with law enforcement in an ongoing investigation into the situation,” said Patrick Seybold, a U.S. spokesman for Tokyo-based Sony. “As such, we will not comment further on this matter.”

The hackers didn’t break into the Amazon servers, the person said. Rather, they signed up for the service just as a legitimate company would, using fake information.

Even so, the breach at Amazon is likely to call attention to concerns some businesses have voiced over the security of computing services delivered via others’ remote servers, referred to as cloud computing.

Cloud security is Amazon’s top priority, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said at an event sponsored by Consumer Reports magazine this week.

Rented Servers

“Data security is one of these great dynamic situations where the bad guys get better, and the good guys have to keep getting better too -- it’s not a static situation,” Bezos said, Fast Company’s website reported. “I don’t think this is ever going away -- it’s like trying to say that you’re going to get crime to go away.”

The use of a hijacked or rented server to launch attacks is typical for sophisticated hackers. The proliferation of server farms around the globe has made such misdirection easier, said E.J. Hilbert, president of the security company Online Intelligence and a former FBI cyber-crime investigator.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will likely subpoena Amazon as part of its investigation process, or it may try to obtain a search warrant, Hilbert said.

“The subpoena will give law enforcement a history of the transactions,” or who had access to the specific Internet address at that time, Hilbert said. “The search warrant will get them more detailed information, including payment information and which credit card was used.”

Amazon Service

Herdener declined to say whether Amazon has been subpoenaed or served with a search warrant.

FBI Special Agent Darrell Foxworth, a spokesman for the agency’s San Diego office, said he couldn’t comment on whether the agency had served Amazon with a search warrant or subpoena.

“We are following up on each and every lead,” Foxworth said.


Source: [Register or Login to view links]

And just on the side note:
“The search warrant will get them more detailed information, including payment information and which credit card was used.”

Surely only idiot would use his / her own credit card for that - it it was so "highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack" then they'd either use the stolen card or prepaid one. Either way this lead would be pretty much useless. And indeed, in the same terms - from which location / IP was the transaction performed and any consequentuall access to the rented cloud space done.

And - for those liking the bit of conspiracy - why not assume that even the Amazon "failure due the the update / backup" was not for example another part of the cover up of the attack to Sony?

#337 - anon777 - 193w ago
anon777's Avatar
i know right..

#336 - elser1 - 193w ago
elser1's Avatar
Quote Originally Posted by daveshooter View Post
• appointment of a new Chief Information Security Officer.

Who's that then? Not our Geo lol.

hah wouldn't be suprised eh!

that would suck!

#335 - daveshooter - 193w ago
daveshooter's Avatar
• appointment of a new Chief Information Security Officer.

Who's that then? Not our Geo lol.

#334 - syphonlord - 193w ago
syphonlord's Avatar
OMG this is really getting boring now, i'm sick of hearing about it. SONY hurry up and sort it out, your not building swiss watches so why is it taking so long. Grrrrrr

#333 - GrandpaHomer - 193w ago
GrandpaHomer's Avatar
Again - just repeating the old song...
Quote Originally Posted by PS3 News View Post
Among other things, the intruders deleted log files in order to hide the extent of their work and activity within the network.

Sony aparently never heard of proper and most of all secure loging to the external / remote systems which has no other direct access from monitored system apart of storing the sent logs itself and indeed constantly backing them up and so on - clueless.

#332 - PS3 News - 193w ago
PS3 News's Avatar
Update: PSN is now back online in Japan, and Kaz Harai has made available a [Register or Login to view links] statement with all the related details.

Following news that PSN internal testing is currently underway, today the official [Register or Login to view links] site has issued an update regarding the PlayStation Network outage alongside details from the official letter Sony sent out to their publishing partners.

To quote, roughly translated: "PlayStation Network” and “Qriocity” and continued failure, I am sorry indeed. As we told the other day with the latest information in regard to future service restart, will be conducted in stages on a regional basis to ensure the safety of our customers.

We are preparing to be able to resume service as soon as possible in Japan, and is now doing the verification stage for ensuring the safety and security, providing more advanced. Server to complete the relocation of more secure facilities, further strengthening the encryption, firewalls and expansion of new customers with peace of mind again on “PlayStation Network” and “Qriocity” to stay.

We also are supporting the monitoring and the introduction of warning systems to facilitate early detection of cyber attacks, subjected to a system upgrade intended to eliminate vulnerabilities, established a system to ensure information management to protect important personal information of customers.

For those of you committed to ensuring safety, but would take some time for some time now, humbly thank you for your understanding. For the latest information, this website will guide you at any time. To everyone of our customers and partners, we deeply apologize for the inconvenience and inconvenience."

In related news, [Register or Login to view links] has shared a copy of the official letter Sony SVP Rob Dyer sent out regarding PSN to their publishing partners, as detailed below:

Dear Partner:

As you know, certain PlayStation Network, Qriocity and Sony Online Entertainment service user account information was compromised in criminal attacks against our networks. I want to assure you, as a PlayStation partner, that it is Sony’s top priority to restore our network operations and see that business is returned to usual as soon as possible.

We are working around the clock to restore service, but will do so only when we can ensure that the network can operate safely and securely. In the meantime, we greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill.

What Happened?

  • On Tuesday, April 19, 2011, Sony discovered that several PlayStation Network servers unexpectedly rebooted themselves and that unplanned and unusual activity was taking place on the network. This activity triggered an immediate response.


  • Sony mobilized a larger internal team to assist the investigation of the four suspect servers. That team discovered the first credible indications that an intruder had been in the PlayStation Network system, and six more servers were identified as possibly being compromised. Sony immediately decided to shut down all of the PlayStation Network services in order to prevent any additional damage.


  • The scope and complexity of the investigation grew substantially as additional evidence about the attack developed.


  • The forensic teams were able to confirm that intruders had used very sophisticated and aggressive techniques to obtain unauthorized access, hide their presence from system administrators and escalate privileges inside the servers. Among other things, the intruders deleted log files in order to hide the extent of their work and activity within the network.


  • On Sunday May 1, using information uncovered by the forensic teams, engineers at Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) discovered that data had also been taken from their servers. They, too, shut down operations and on Monday, May 2, announced the discovery.

What Data Are Affected?

As you may know, personal data was stolen from approximately 77 million PlayStation network and Qriocity service accounts.

As of this writing, there remains no evidence that the credit card information was stolen and the major credit card companies are still reporting that they have not seen an increase in fraudulent transactions due to this event.

What Steps Are Being Taken?

We have taken aggressive action to give consumers peace of mind, protect them against the abuse of their data, and enhance our security systems moving forward.

We have already advised our consumers in the U.S. that we will offer complimentary identity theft protection services through a leading provider, including an insurance program of up to $1 million. Similar programs are being developed in other markets around the world.

In addition, Sony is taking a series of steps to enhance security of our network infrastructure. They include but are not limited to:

  • adding additional automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks;


  • enhanced levels of data protection and encryption, as well as additional penetration and vulnerability testing;


  • enhanced capabilities to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns;


  • implementation of additional firewalls;


  • expediting a planned move of the system to a new data center in a different location with enhanced security; and


  • appointment of a new Chief Information Security Officer.

Finally, to thank our customers for their patience and loyalty, we are offering them “welcome back” packages as soon as the networks are restored, including free downloads of selected PlayStation entertainment, 30 days of free service as well as service extensions for the number of days PSN and Qriocity services were unavailable, with similar benefits for Music Unlimited subscribers.

Looking Ahead

We of course deeply regret that this incident has occurred. We are working closely with the FBI to identify and apprehend the culprits who committed this crime against our consumers, our partners and our company. I know you can appreciate how widespread the problem of cybercrime is in society today. Although no company is immune, we are confident our consumer data will be protected by some of the best security measures available today.

As a valued partner we aim to keep the lines of communication open so that you are aware of our progress. Our focus has been to confirm the security of the networks, protect customer data and get the services back on line as quickly as possible. We will do our best to respond to all of your inquiries and we will do everything we possibly can to support you.

We are doing everything we can to bring these services back online as soon as possible. We will update you with more information as soon as we can, but please call your account executive if you have further questions. We thank you for your patience and look forward to moving ahead together in the months and years to come.

Very truly yours,

Rob Dyer

SVP, Publisher Relations




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