PlayStation Network still down, your data stolen

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s been a little bit of Drama over at the PlayStation Network. Specifically, the service has been down for a week now, with no sign of coming back any time soon.

PlayStation Network

No multiplayer for you!

We’ve heard all sorts of stories about just why the network has failed, with one of the more memorable featuring a new custom firmware that turns a standard PS3 into a dev kit, and another pointing the finger at worldwide “hacktivists” Anonymous (who have since denied any responsibility).

While Sony – like most other major companies – is refusing to really issue much comment on these rumours and speculations, the hardware giant has released a statement offering its version of events.

According to Patrick Seybold, Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Social Media at Sony, there has been an “illegal intrusion” on the PSN systems, forcing the company to take the network down entirely.

Via the [surl=http://blog.us.playstation.com/2011/04/26/update-on-playstation-network-and-qriocity/]PlayStation Blog[/surl]:

These malicious actions have also had an impact on your ability to enjoy the services provided by PlayStation Network and Qriocity including online gaming and online access to music, movies, sports and TV shows. We have a clear path to have PlayStation Network and Qriocity systems back online, and expect to restore some services within a week.

What he’s not elaborating on is the nature of this “illegal intrusion”. According to other sites published by the company (including the [surl=http://uk.playstation.com/home/news/articles/detail/item369506/PSN-Qriocity-Service-Update/]UK version of the blog[/surl]), it seems that any information you may have provided Sony may now have been accessed by “unauthorised persons”.

PlayStation 3

Offline for the time being

This includes your:

  • Name
  • Shipping address
  • Billing address
  • Country
  • E-mail address
  • Birthdate
  • PSN/Qriocity ID
  • PSN/Qriocity password
  • PSN/Qriocity security question and answer
  • Purchase history

…and, potentially (while there is “no evidence at this time” to suggest that it has happened) if you have provided your credit card details to the PlayStation Network or Qriocity, that may have been obtained, also.

While it might have taken the company a little while to get on top of the matter (something US senator Richard Blumenthal is particularly unimpressed with), Sony is now warning the public out of an “abundance of caution”, and advising everybody to change passwords on other services if they use the same username and/or password as the PSN account. It might also be a good idea to keep a close eye on your bank statements and credit card accounts over the next little while, in case your money goes on a shopping spree without you.

There are all sorts of FAQs and Updates popping up online, including a UK Playstation Update on PSN Service Outages, an Australian PSN/Qriocity Service Update and a collection of Consumer Alerts for people around the world.

Sony is doing whatever it can to fix the problem, including hiring an “outside, recognised security firm” to look into the matter. We’ll keep you posted on any updates, but – till then – sit tight, play games offline, and cross your fingers.

UPDATE: Apparently, PlayStation Plus subscribers may have heard about the breach last week, while freeloaders who do not pay for the premium service were left in the dark.

A report on Kotaku also states that Sony knew of the breach, but didn’t realise its severity until Monday, when the independent security firm raised the alarm.


This story was featured in Episode 12, Season 2 of playerattack News:

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