Sony Freezes 93,000 Online Accounts After Security Breach

12 Oct

Sony’s online gaming and entertainment networks are going dark again.

The company said last night that it had shut down approximately 93,000 accounts on its online gaming and entertainment networks after detecting a mass, attempted sign-in by a third party using stolen IDs and passwords.

Philip Reitinger, Sony’s chief information security officer, said in a blog post that the people attempting to break in had obtained the IDs and passwords from another company, website or source — in other words, not Sony’s network directly.

Most of the attempted sign ins didn’t work because the user names and passwords didn’t match, but a tiny proportion did — less than one tenth of a percent, according to Reitinger. Still, Sony has temporarily locked all 93,000 of those accounts (about 60,000 on its PlayStation Network, or PSN, and Sony Entertainment Network, and 33,000 from Sony Online Entertainment) since the third-party at least managed to get the correct sign-in IDs and passwords.

Reitinger says that “only a small fraction” of those 93,000 accounts “showed additional activity prior to being locked.” He added that users credit-card details were not at risk but, as a preventative measure, a small proportion would require password resets.

“We will provide more updates as we have them,” he added.

This is of course not the first time that Sony’s online networks have been breached by cyber marauders. The company was forced to shut down its PlayStation Network for almost a month after hackers compromised about 100 million accounts on the PSN, Qriocity and Sony Online Entertainment networks back in April. This was followed by a series of further data breaches on the company’s web presence by cyber punks like the LulzSec hacker group.

Still, Sony’s customers seem to the taking the news well, with many expressing appreciation for Reitinger’s swift notification of the breach. Sony was accused of dragging its feet to tell customers about its last major breach in April — it didn’t notify customers till a week after it first saw unauthorized activity on its network.

“Thanks for letting everyone know so soon,” said one commenter last night. “It’s better to be aware.”

But some still felt disgruntled about yet another security breach. “This needs to stop,” said one commenter. Another pointed out that while the cache of stolen user names and passwords may have come from another source, they had still originally been stolen from Sony itself.


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