Sony: 93,000 network accounts compromised

Perhaps in light of the PlayStation Network downtime which devastated online gaming earlier this year, Sony has announced that nefarious types have been testing a “massive set” of sign-in IDs and passwords against the company’s networks.

PlayStation Network

Under attack ...again.

How massive? Roughly 60,000 PlayStation Network / Sony Entertainment Network accounts, plus around 33,000 from Sony Online Entertainment “may have been affected,” says Chief Information Security Officer Philip Reitinger (that’s a hefty figure, but still less than one tenth of one percent – 0.1% – of the company’s audience).

All of the potentially affected accounts have been temporarily locked – and Sony is quick to assure gamers that “only a small fraction” of the 93,000 accounts had recorded additional activity prior to being locked.

Reitinger explains on the PlayStation.Blog:

We are currently reviewing those accounts for unauthorized access, and will provide more updates as we have them. Please note, if you have a credit card associated with your account, your credit card number is not at risk. We will work with any users whom we confirm have had unauthorized purchases made to restore amounts in the PSN/SEN or SOE wallet.

Any PSN/SEN account which recorded both a sign-in ID and password match through the recent attack will now require a secure password reset – if you’re one of them, expect a message in the email inbox associated with your account.

Affected SOE accounts should also expect an email – an official message from Sony advising how to validate your account credentials to get your account turned back on.

In closing, Reitinger observes:

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.

Earlier this year, Sony received significant consumer backlash after apparently not reporting a similar incident, which lead to a nearly two-month downtime and millions of user accounts (including credit card details) being compromised.

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