Updated: SOE Customer Account Details Compromised, Game Services Suspended

Updated Tue, May 03, 2011 by Martuk

Earlier today we reported that Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) had taken down its online gaming portals and game services following a discovery of another issue today relating to the intrusion that brought down SOE websites and Playstation Network about two weeks ago. Initially, SOE reported that they did not believe any customer information had been compromised since SOE's systems were separate from that of the Playstation Network. However, in SOE's latest update, it would appear that this is not the case and even more Sony customer’s personal details may now be at risk.

Facepalmed Again

Sony loses even more of its customer's personal details.

According to the update, SOE has discovered that hackers may have obtained personal details of its MMOG customers which include: "name, address (city, state, zip, country), email address, gender, birthdate, phone number, login name and hashed password."

Additionally, customers outside of the United States in should also be aware that SOE has found evidence that information from an outdated 2007 database that contains more than 12,700 non-US customer credit card numbers and expiration dates minus the security codes and 10,700 direct debit records of customers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Spain may have also been compromised.

The Playstation Network breach potentially compromised the personal details of more than 70 million players. Now with SOE following suit, how many more will be compromised? For now, SOE gaming services have been suspended while the company works to investigate the breach and strengthen its network security.

This is second major blow to both Sony and its customers in less than a month that has even caused the Department of Homeland Security to get involved. What do you think of this debacle? Tell us on our forums.

Check out the official announcement for more details and how you can help guard against identity theft.

Update: SOE has announced on its Twitter that game services will not be back online tonight. This comes as no surprise given that the Playstation Network has been down for more than two weeks following Sony's decision to bring it down and investigate while strengthening its systems. No ETA is currently available of when services will resume, but Sony has promised compensation to players with 30 free days of game time plus a free day for each day the services are down.

Stay tuned and we'll update you when we have more.

The official SOE press release from today's events can be found below.


SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES
THEFT OF DATA FROM ITS SYSTEMS

Breach Believed to Stem From Initial Criminal Hack of SOE

Tokyo, May 3, 2011 - Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment announced today that their ongoing investigation of illegal intrusions into Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE, the company) systems revealed yesterday morning (May 2, Tokyo time) that hackers may have stolen SOE customer information on April 16th and 17th, 2011 (PDT).  SOE is based in San Diego, California, U.S.A.

This information, which was discovered by engineers and security consultants reviewing SOE systems, showed that personal information from approximately 24.6 million SOE accounts may have been stolen, as well as certain information from an outdated database from 2007.  The information from the outdated database that may have been stolen includes approximately 12,700 non-U.S. credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security codes), and about 10,700 direct debit records of certain customers in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain.

With the current outage of the PlayStation® Network and Qriocity™ services and the ongoing investigation into the recent attacks, SOE had also undertaken an intensive investigation into its system. Upon discovery of this additional information, the company promptly shut down all servers related to SOE services while continuing to review and upgrade all of its online security systems in the face of these unprecedented cyber-attacks. 

On May 1, Sony apologized to its customers for the inconvenience caused by its network services outages.  The company is working with the FBI and continuing its own full investigation while working to restore all services.

Sony is making this disclosure as quickly as possible after the discovery of the theft, and the company has posted information on its website and will send e-mails to all consumers whose data may have been stolen.

The personal information of the approximately 24.6 million SOE accounts that was illegally obtained, to the extent it had been provided to SOE, is as follows:

  • name
  • address
  • e-mail address
  • birthdate
  • gender
  • phone number
  • login name
  • hashed password.

In addition to the information above, the 10,700 direct debit records from accounts in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain, include:

  • bank account number
  • customer name
  • account name
  • customer address.

SOE will grant customers 30 days of additional time on their subscriptions, in addition to compensating them one day for each day the system is down. It is also in the process of outlining a "make good" plan for its PlayStation®3 MMOs (DC Universe Online and Free Realms). More information will be released this week.

Additionally, the company is committed to helping its customers protect their personal data and will provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs. The implementation will be at a local level and further details will be made available shortly in each region.

Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) has been a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games since 1999.  Best known for its blockbuster hits and franchises, including EverQuest®, EverQuest®II, Champions of Norrath®, PlanetSide®, Free Realms®, Clone Wars Adventures™, and DC Universe Online™, SOE creates, develops and provides compelling online entertainment for virtually all platforms, including the PlayStation®3 Computer Entertainment System, Personal Computer, mobile and social networks.  SOE is building on its proven legacy and pioneering the future of the interactive entertainment space through creative development and inspired gameplay design for audiences of all ages.  To learn more, visit www.soe.com.

For more information and update about the SOE services, please visit www.soe.com/securityupdate.

About Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $78 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/

About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Recognized as the global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufactures, distributes and markets the PlayStation® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and the PlayStation®3 (PS3®) system. PlayStation has revolutionized home entertainment by introducing advanced 3D graphic processing, and PlayStation 2 further enhances the PlayStation legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP is a handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio. PS3 is an advanced computer system, incorporating the state-of-the-art Cell processor with super computer like power. SCEI, along with its subsidiary divisions Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea Inc. develops, publishes, markets and distributes software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these platforms in the respective markets worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, SCEI is an independent business unit of the Sony Group.

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