By 12 October 2011 | Categories: news


Sony’s Entertainment Network, along with the PlayStation Network, has been attacked, in an attempt to illegally access users’ account globally. The time around 93 000 accounts may have been compromised.

According to Philip Reitinger, Sony’s chief information security officer, the company detected attempts on Sony Entertainment Network (SEN), PlayStation Network (PSN) and Sony Online Entertainment services to test a massive set of sign-in IDs and passwords against its network database.

He elaborated that approximately 93 000 accounts globally (of which approximately 60 000 accounts were on the PlayStation Network) were compromised, but reassured that the company has temporarily  locked these accounts.

“Only a small fraction of these 93 000 accounts showed additional activity prior to being locked. We are currently reviewing those accounts for unauthorised access, and will provide more updates as we have them,” continued Reitinger. He stressed that for users who have a credit card associated with their account, their credit card details were not at risk.

The intrusion is no doubt an unpleasant reminder for many of the hacking and compromising of the PlayStation Network earlier this year. That attack on the PSN exposed  77 million users' private information including details such as usernames, passwords, telephone numbers and addresses. The attack effectively brought the PSN to a month long grinding halt, while Sony tried to repair the damage to its network and its reputation (which it did via a welcome back programme).

This time however, it appears that the intrusion was due to compromised sign in identities obtained from other sites and sources, rather than a weakness in Sony’s security.

“Given that the data tested against our network consisted of sign-in ID-password pairs, and that the overwhelming majority of the pairs resulted in failed matching attempts, it is likely the data came from another source and not from our Networks,” continued Reitinger. He added that the company  has taken steps to mitigate the activity.

As a preventative measure, the company is requiring secure password resets for those PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network accounts that had both a sign-in ID and password match through this attempt.

Reitinger added that the small group of PSN/SEN users who may have been affected will receive an email from Sony at the address associated with their account that will prompt them to reset their password.

“We want to take this opportunity to remind our consumers about the increasingly common threat of fraudulent activity online, as well as the importance of having a strong password and having a username/password combination that is not associated with other online services or sites. We encourage you to choose unique, hard-to-guess passwords and always look for unusual activity in your account,” he concluded. 


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