Sony woes continue as SOE confirms data breach
Are you starting to feel bad for Sony yet? No? Maybe this will change your mind. Sony Online Entertainment has, apparently, been the victim of another breach that has, according to Nikkei.com, resulted in the release of 12,700 credit card numbers -- and presumably some other information as well. 4,300 of those credit card numbers are said to be Japanese, but no saying how many are American. Thankfully, data is said to be from 2007, minimizing the number of still-valid credit cards exposed making us wonder if perhaps this wasn't some sort of backup that was exposed. Regardless, SOE's online services were taken offline earlier today and, well, now we know why. We're presently expecting further information from the company but, until then, feel free to continue cowering in the corner and quietly sobbing onto your compromised credit cards.

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Update: According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony has also confirmed that the latest attack accessed personal information for a staggering 24.6 million accounts. Such info includes names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, gender, date of birth, login ID, and hashed passwords. Ruh roh. Full press release after the break.
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SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES THEFT OF DATA FROM ITS SYSTEMS
Breach Believed to Stem From Initial Criminal Hack of SOE


Sony Corporation
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.


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information from approximately 24.6 million SOE accounts may have been stolen, as well as certain information from an outdated database from 2007. The information from the outdated database that may have been stolen includes approximately 12,700 non-U.S. credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security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.

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Sony woes continue as SOE confirms data breach (update: 24.6 million accounts affected)