PlayStation breach broader - Sony

2011-05-03 20:53
San Francisco - Sony on Monday reported that cyber assaults on its online videogame network were broader than first thought, with intruders getting away with credit and debit card data.

Hackers breached the Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) network as well as the PlayStation Network and the Qriocity streaming music service, according to the Japanese consumer electronics giant.

"We had previously believed that Sony Online Entertainment customer data had not been obtained in the cyber-attacks on the company," it said in an online update.

"But, on May 1 we concluded that SOE account information may have been stolen and we are notifying you as soon as possible."

Engineers and security consultants investigating the PlayStation Network breach discovered evidence that information was stolen from 24.6 million SOE accounts and from an outdated database containing people's financial data.


About 12 700 credit or debit card numbers, along with expiration dates, belonging to people outside the US may have been stolen along with 10 700 direct debit records of customers in Austria, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain, according to Sony.

"We will be notifying each of these customers promptly," it said.

The database was from 2007 and stolen information included bank account numbers and the names and addresses of customers, according to Sony.

"There is no evidence that our main credit card database was compromised," SOE said in an update to users. "It is in a completely separate and secured environment."

SOE, based in the southern California city of San Diego, is a network for users to take part in massive multi-player games such as EverQuest or Star Wars Galaxies online using personal computers.

The SOE network was shut down after the data breach was discovered.

Sony originally thought that SOE was not violated during a cyber assault on its PlayStation Network and Qriocity online music-streaming service.

'Widespread problem'

In an unusual Sunday press conference, Sony executives bowed in apology and said the company would begin restoring its PlayStation Network and Qriocity in the next week.

"This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry," Sony executive deputy president Kazuo Hirai said on Sunday.

"These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber security. We take the security of our consumers' information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data."

PlayStation Network and Qriocity streaming music service were turned off on April 20 in the wake of an "external intrusion", according to Sony spokesperson Patrick Seybold.

Sony believed that PlayStation Network, SOE, and Qriocity users' names, addresses, birthdates, passwords, and e-mail addresses were swiped.

PlayStation Network connects PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles to online games, films and more.

Players were still able to take part in games offline on consoles, but lost the ability to challenge others on the internet, stream movies, or get other services.


PlayStation Network launched in November of 2006 and boasts about 77 million registered users worldwide. Sony did not indicate whether it identified a culprit in the intrusion.

Sony warned users of the breached networks to be wary of solicitations or messages claiming to be from the company, since cyber crooks might try to dupe them into disclosing more valuable information.

Sony also said it was working on a plan to "make good" for the trouble the breach has caused users.
Read more on:    sony  |  cybercrime


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Extravagant toys for the rich

What do you get for the person who has everything? Buy them something completely over the top.


Luxury living

The Fast and Furious R40 million
This is the most expensive burger in the world!
Exclusive food items that WILL break the bank
Top 10 most expensive homes in the world

You may find yourself drawn into investigating, researching or digging below the surface to get to the bottom of something. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.