Today Sony's Senior Director of Corporate Communications & Social Media Patrick Seybold
has made available another PlayStation Network security update to clarify some common PSN concerns alongside a SOE Press Release
, as follows:
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 about 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 http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleartext form. For a description of the difference between encryption and hashing, http://www.infocellar.com/networks/Security/hash.htm.
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.
Sony has also suspended another of its online gaming systems, following the recent PlayStation Network hack. The company took the Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) service offline as part of its wider investigation into security breaches. Multiplayer games including DC Universe and Facebook-based Fortune League were unavailable as a result.
Sony admitted last week that the personal details of 77m PlayStation users may have been stolen by hackers. The suspension of SOE was announced in brief statement on its Web site, http://maintenance.station.sony.com/.
To quote from the http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13260041: "We have had to take the SOE service down temporarily. In the course of our investigation into the intrusion into our systems we have discovered an issue that warrants enough concern for us to take the service down effective immediately. We will provide an update later today (Monday)," it said.
Last week, Sony said that it did not believe SOE users had been affected by the PlayStation Network hack.
A community relations spokesperson wrote on one of Sony's support forums at the time: "We have been conducting a thorough investigation and, to the best of our knowledge, no customer personal information got out to any unauthorized person or persons.
"We are continuing that investigation and monitoring the situation carefully; should the situation change, we will - of course - promptly notify you."
Sony Online Entertainment designs and publishes online multiplayer games for the PC, PlayStation 3 and, in the case of Fortune League, Facebook."
Finally, what comes just days after a http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sony-online-entertainment-slashes-hundreds-173638, Nikkei reports (via http://www.joystiq.com/2011/05/02/sony-hit-with-second-attack-loses-12-700-credit-card-nu/) that SOE has lost 12,700 customer credit card numbers as the result of the attack.
The company apparently took SOE servers offline after learning of the attack last evening, but has yet to issue a statement confirming that customer information has been lost.
Of the 12,700 total, 4,300 are alleged to be from Japan, while the remainder's origins are unknown.
From the official http://www.soe.com/securityupdate/, to quote: As previously announced, we have been conducting an ongoing, thorough investigation stemming from the cyber attack in April and promised to notify you should there be any changes to the situation.
A press release was issued today outlining these details. We will promptly send a customer service notification via email to all of our impacted account holders whose customer data may have been stolen as a result of an illegal intrusion on our systems. This information was discovered less than 24 hours ago and in response, we took down our services until we could verify their security.
SOE is committed to delivering secure, stable and entertaining games for players of all ages and we're working around the clock to ensure this situation is resolved as quickly as possible. We deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused and appreciate your continued patience and feedback.
CUSTOMER SERVICE NOTIFICATION - May 2, 2011
Dear Valued Sony Online Entertainment Customer: 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. We are providing the following information for those who wish to consider it:
U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.
We have also provided names and contact information for the three major U.S. credit bureaus below. At no charge, U.S. residents can have these credit bureaus place a "fraud alert" on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. This service can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name. Note, however, that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, it also may delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report, please contact any one of the agencies listed below.
Experian: 888-397-3742; http://www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
Equifax: 800-525-6285; http://www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
TransUnion: 800-680-7289; http://www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
You may wish to visit the web site of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft or reach the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 or 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 for further information about how to protect yourself from identity theft. Your state Attorney General may also have advice on preventing identity theft, and you should report instances of known or suspected identity theft to law enforcement, your State Attorney General, and the FTC. For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; telephone (877) 566-7226; or http://www.ncdoj.gov. For Maryland residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; telephone: (888) 743-0023; or http://www.oag.state.md.us.
We are committed to helping our customers protect their personal data and we 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 regions in which such programs are commonly utilized.
We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible. Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information. Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority. Please contact us at 1 (866) 436-6698 should you have any additional questions.
Sony Online Entertainment LLC
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