Sony suffers another security breach, locks down accounts

By Lee Kaelin on October 12, 2011, 9:30 AM

Sony locked down 93,000 user accounts on its online gaming and entertainment networks yesterday after it detected a large number of unauthorized attempts to gain access to them. The intruders had brief access to 60,000 PSN accounts and another 33,000 accounts on the servers for Sony Online Entertainment.

In a statement released earlier today on the PlayStation blog , VP & chief information security officer, Philip Reitinger said the attacks happened between Friday and Monday affecting "less than one-tenth of 1 percent" of PSN, SEN, and SOE consumers.

In his statement, he confirmed that those 93,000 accounts had been accessed, and the user ID's and passwords had been verified, but wanted to assure the public that "only a small fraction of these 93,000 accounts showed additional activity prior to being locked." It has not been detailed what activity had been detected, only that they "are continuing to investigate the extent of unauthorized activity on any of these accounts."

Sony is requiring secure password resets on affected PSN accounts that had user ID's and passwords matched during the intrusions on its networks. Users will shortly receive an email at the address associated with the account with steps on how to reset thier password and gain access to PSN again.

Those with SOE accounts will find that they have been temporarily turned off, and will shortly receive an email from the company with steps on how to validate their account credentials in order to have it turned back on.

"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," Reitinger further commented in his statement.

Reitigner was keen to point out that affected account holders' credit card details were safe, and anyone confirmed to be on the list will have any money spent from their "online wallets" on the Sony network refunded.

Although these latest rounds of attacks has been much better dealt with, it is doing little to help the beleaguered gaming giant rebuild its reputation after the huge hacking scandal that erupted earlier in the year, affecting millions of its users.

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