Hacker, Researcher and Author.

Massive Break In, Over 93,000 Sony User Accounts Broken In To

Sony has been dealing with many issues lately. First, PlayStation was jailbroken by GeoHotz and now, over 93,000 Sony user accounts have been broken in to in the last couple of days. Needless to say, this 'break in' has affected
Sony Entertainment Network, PlayStation Network (PSN) and Sony Online Entertainment service users.

According to Sony's blog post by Philip Reitinger, Sony's Chief Information Security Officer, credit card details were not compromised:
We want to let you know that we have detected attempts on Sony Entertainment Network, PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment (“Networks”) services to test a massive set of sign-in IDs and passwords against our network database. These attempts appear to include a large amount of data obtained from one or more compromised lists from other companies, sites or other sources. In this case, given that the data tested against our network consisted of sign-in ID-password pairs, and that the overwhelming majority of the pairs resulted in failed matching attempts, it is likely the data came from another source and not from our Networks. We have taken steps to mitigate the activity.

Less than one tenth of one percent (0.1%) of our PSN, SEN and SOE audience may have been affected. There were approximately 93,000 accounts globally (PSN/SEN: approximately 60,000 accounts; SOE: approximately 33,000) where the attempts succeeded in verifying those accounts’ valid sign-in IDs and passwords, and we have temporarily locked these accounts. Only a small fraction of these 93,000 accounts showed additional activity prior to being locked. 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.

As a preventative measure, we are requiring secure password resets for those PSN/SEN accounts that had both a sign-in ID and password match through this attempt. If you are in the small group of PSN/SEN users who may have been affected, you will receive an email from us at the address associated with your account that will prompt you to reset your password.

Similarly, the SOE accounts that were matched have been temporarily turned off. If you are among the small group of affected SOE customers, you will receive an email from us at the address associated with your account that will advise you on next steps in order to validate your account credentials and have your account 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.
As stated above, 93,000 PSN accounts have been frozen and Sony is going to email all the users asking them to confirm their identity and reset their passwords.

The most interesting thing about this 'break in' is that hackers seemed to have worked through a large database of stolen usernames and passwords, suggesting that the accounts that were broken in to had untypical usernames and passwords. For example, people who had the same username and password for PSN and other websites as well.

The only positive point about this security breech in Sony's history is that it's magnitude isn't as such as was seen earlier this year. Sony isn't in the best of position right now and this incident has hurt their reputation even more. We only hope that this is the last of mishaps that Sony has to face (at least in this year).

We encourage all our readers to choose usernames and passwords wisely which are unique and hard to guess.


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