Tag Archives: PSN

Sony Suffer New Security Breach

Sony have suffered yet another security breach which has resulted in 93,000 PlayStation Network and SOE games service accounts being locked after unauthorised sign-in attempts. The unknown hackers managed to verify a number of members IDs and passwords. Those affected will be glad to see that their credit card details were not at risk.

This latest attack that occurred between 7th and 10th October isn’t on the same scale as to previous security breaches. On their website, Sony stated “less than one tenth of one percent of users across the three networks may have been affected in the latest incident.”

Chief information security officer Philip Reitinger stated that “We are currently reviewing those accounts for unauthorized access, and will provide more updates as we have them. He later added that “Only a small fraction of these 93,000 accounts showed additional activity prior to being locked.”

Sony has started the procedure of informing those affected by sending an email which instructs them to reset their password in order to reduce the possibility of such a breach occurring again. It has been speculated that the information leading to the data breach may have been taken from other companies but so far Sony has refused to comment on this as their investigation continues.

This latest case is one that Sony really could have done without as they attempt to regain the trust of millions of people after a string of security breaches. The most prominent breach occurred in April when hackers stole details of 77 million gamers which resulted in the PSN being shut down by Sony for 40 days.

Sony: Bouncing Back

Sony has had a difficult year, not least because of the hacking scandal in April but also because of the earthquake in Japan as well as the London riots.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer spoke at the IFA electronics trade show in Berlin yesterday and highlighted the difficulties of the last 12 months, but was optimistic about the future.

“This year at Sony we have been flooded, we’ve been flattened, we’ve been hacked, we’ve been singed” said Stringer.

April saw Sony face one of the largest hacks in history leading to the data of 75 million users being compromised.

However the summer saw Sony embark on getting the service back online and they have done so with surprising success.

“We have more than 3 million new customers since the network came back online, and sales are exceeding what we had before the cyber attacks” said Stringer.

Also highlighted at the conference was Sony’s intention to go for the competitive approach of bringing together gaming, music and film under the umbrella of the Sony Entertainment Network (SEN).  This will place Sony strongly within the market place among the likes of Apple.

Sony Hack

Sony has undergone a second hack just two weeks after the initial attack took place, meaning another 25million accounts may have been compromised on top of the original 77million. This second wave of attacks comes just days after the top Sony directors made a traditional Japanese apology in a board meeting.

“We deeply apologise for the inconvenience we have caused,” said Kazup Hirai (one of the executives which took a bow at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo).

The Sony Online Entertainment Network allows people to play multiplayer games with their peers or strangers across the Internet. The facility allows users to also download films as well as upgrades to games.

Among data stolen from Sony’s servers were names, addresses, emails, birth dates, phone numbers in addition to other information. Furthermore data was taken from an out-dated 2007 database.

24,000 financial records belonging to people from outside the U.S. have been taken. This includes bank details of customers in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. However Sony claim that there is no evidence that the information stolen has been used for illegal gain.

Mr Hirai is claiming that parts of the service would be back this week and that Sony has plans to significantly beef up security measures. However this doesn’t change the fact that some 3 million Britons using the Sony system have been caught up in the largest criminal cyber attack on record.

Government urged to tackle security concerns on public sector network

The announcement of the government’s plans to create a unified public sector network (PSN), has been greeted with worried noises from within the data security industry, where many believe that serious flaws could be present if the network is developed with excessive haste.

At the moment most public sector organisations have their own IT networks for data storage, but the PSN would create a single solution and make the sharing of data between different bodies significantly easier, thanks to cloud computing on a national scale.

The PSN is partly being implemented to help make savings. Half a billion pounds is calculated to be the annual amount by which its creation will reduce IT costs across the public sector.

The government is hoping that by unifying the currently fragmented networks under one metaphorical roof, it will be able to improve accessibility and inter-departmental data handling.

Security expert Simon Wiseman, who has more than three decades of experience in working on data security for the government, has said that he remains unconvinced that the level of protection offered by the proposed PSN is adequate for the task in hand.

Mr Wiseman believes that the PSN is being pushed into action before it is fully finished. He feels little attention is being paid to the data loss prevention and security measures, which could help to minimise the risks posed to the huge stores of data which it will eventually house.

Mr Wiseman is in favour of gradual implementation of the PSN rather than immediate national roll-out, with trial runs used to determine any weaknesses.

With multiple cloud applications running on the PSN, Mr Wiseman asserted that a flaw in just one could compromise the integrity of the whole system. Cybercriminals with aims of hacking into essential services would also have greater scope for causing havoc, he said.

There are various concerned parties who view the hurried implementation of the PSN with concern and while it is recognised that security must be utmost in the minds of those behind its creation, many believe that for the system to truly become a success, the security measures will have to be as user-friendly and simple as possible.

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