Print 30 comment(s) - last by thurston.. on Apr 30 at 12:15 AM

Customers who registered with the PlayStation Network have had their names, addresses, usersnames, passwords, and possibly credit cards stolen. Sony waited a week before telling the public.
Customer addresses, passwords, usernames, and emails -- and possibly credit cards -- were all taken

Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC is facing a firestorm of criticism following its admission that it handed the management of its PlayStation Network (PSN) to a smaller services provider, Qriocity, who apparently had appallingly bad security, allowing a massive loss of customer data.

In total users' names, usernames, and addresses were all lost.  They also lost users' passwords, indicating that their passwords may not have been hashed -- or at the very least weren't salted (a cryptographic technique to increase the difficulty of a foreign party reversing a hash).

Sony also says that credit card info may have been lost, though it says it isn't sure.

In an update the company admits that it waited an entire week before telling customers that it had lost their info.  The company writes:

There’s a difference in timing between when we identified there was an intrusion and when we learned of consumers’ data being compromised. We learned there was an intrusion April 19th and subsequently shut the services down. We then brought in outside experts to help us learn how the intrusion occurred and to conduct an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident. It was necessary to conduct several days of forensic analysis, and it took our experts until yesterday to understand the scope of the breach. We then shared that information with our consumers and announced it publicly this afternoon.

Some in the U.S. government have taken notice and they're not happy.  Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) is "demanding answers" from Sony.  He writes [press release], "When a data breach occurs, it is essential that customers be immediately notified about whether and to what extent their personal and financial information has been compromised. Compounding this concern is the troubling lack of notification from Sony about the nature of the data breach."

The loss of credit card info is particularly disturbing.  If the information is used to commit fraud, there's a strong likelihood that at least some customers' scores with the three major U.S. credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- will be damaged. In cases of identity theft, the bureaus are supposed to work with individuals to fix their file and cleanse their record, but that process can take years and much grief.

Some suspect that members of the loosely organized 4Chan affiliated hacker group "Anonymous" may be behind the data theft.  Anonymous members had been organizing over IRC impromptu distributed denial of service raids on Sony's online properties in the wake of the company's recent lawsuit against George "GeoHot" Hotz.

Stealing customers' data seems out of character for most members of Anonymous, but it's important to remember that the group is very loosely organized and that its members have a wide range of philosophies when it comes to security and computer crime, so anything is possible.

Sony even writes:

4. Is the attack by “Anonymous” or another party?

We are currently conducting a thorough investigation of the situation. Since this is an overall security related issue, we cannot comment further at this time.

The company has a FAQ page that outlines many questions people might have and answers.  For example, it writes:

3. Why was Sony not prepared for a compromise of its network?

We are currently conducting a thorough investigation of the situation. Since this is an overall security related issue, we cannot comment further at this time.

It appears that international users, including those in the European Union, may also be affected.  Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's blog carried a press release announcing the breach, similar that in the U.S.

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Top Democrat?
By Murst on 4/27/2011 9:46:50 AM , Rating: 5
I'm wondering what makes this guy a top democrat.

Richard Blumenthal has been a senator for just over 4 months. Prior to that, he was the AG of Conn.

This dude is pretty much a complete newbie in the Senate. And anyways, I thought that Obama was the top democrat.

RE: Top Democrat?
By Sebec on 4/27/2011 9:50:20 AM , Rating: 5
It's all part of the next reality show, "America's Next Top Democrat."

RE: Top Democrat?
By BladeVenom on 4/27/2011 9:52:18 AM , Rating: 2
He prefers to be on top. :)

RE: Top Democrat?
By quiksilvr on 4/27/2011 11:31:31 AM , Rating: 2
Why? Being on the bottom is much more pleasurable...I've said too much...

RE: Top Democrat?
By gamerk2 on 4/27/2011 12:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair, he IS an ex-Attorny General, so at least he has experiance in this type of thing...

RE: Top Democrat?
By Dr of crap on 4/27/2011 10:41:36 AM , Rating: 2
And why should our "top democrat" be involved in this?

And why do we want the govt involved in this?

Maybe Sony is still trying to figure out WHAT info was leaked out from which customers??

RE: Top Democrat?
By Mr772 on 4/28/2011 8:54:07 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe Sony is still trying to figure out WHAT info was leaked out from which customers??

Epic fail by Sony. Any security engineer worth his salt could have identified and killed the threat in less than 12-24 hours. A week is a catostrophic failure on their part.

RE: Top Democrat?
By Strunf on 4/28/2011 12:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
hmm maybe you should supply your CV to SONY then...

There are many companies and government agencies who had their systems compromised, so either most security engineers are a piece of crap or the hackers are just exploiting weaknesses that weren't easily identifiable from the start.

Anyways I think today no system is completely safe unless disconnected from the internet and without any way for the user to copy/save data.

RE: Top Democrat?
By kattanna on 4/27/2011 1:18:53 PM , Rating: 2
And anyways, I thought that Obama was the top democrat

while technically true, since it appears the senate brought it up, the top senate democrat would be the VP, at this time.

RE: Top Democrat?
By rcc on 4/27/2011 2:40:32 PM , Rating: 3
Either way, I wish Congress would stick to their jobs and quit trying to win brownie points on issues like this. At this point this is a law enforcement issue, a legal issue, and or a consumer rights issue. It's not a flippin' Congressional issue, and it certainly isn't their business to get involved at this level.

RE: Top Democrat?
By MrTeal on 4/27/2011 2:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't say that. If senate and congress didn't have things like this or convening grand juries to look into the possibility that people might have cheated at sports, they might actually start to function as a part of the government. Then you'd really be screwed.

RE: Top Democrat?
By morphologia on 4/27/2011 5:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
He's on some consumer rights committee or other. He's not chairing it, though, so it still doesn't make sense.

He's not top anything, and mentioning his party affiliation serves no purpose (other than giving Republicans a reason to complain about this article).

RE: Top Democrat?
By thomp237 on 4/27/2011 7:41:35 PM , Rating: 3
Actually Obama is the Bottom Democrat. He can only F*** up!

RE: Top Democrat?
By thurston on 4/30/2011 12:15:14 AM , Rating: 2
It's part of what Jason learned researching his sensationalism in journalism editorial series. "Top Democrat" makes it much more sensationalist and has a tendency to immediately politicize.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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