Sony Security Problems Could Hurt Hackers Too

May 5, 2011 -

As hard as it is to believe, hackers may actually suffer from Sony's massive security breach that has seen 102 million users worldwide compromised. According to a New York Times Bits blog report, the massive amount of credit card numbers being flooded into the lucrative black market could bring the price of illegal credit card sales down dramatically.

According to the NYT, hackers who resell personal info and credit cards do not look kindly on what will happen if those responsible for Sony's security breach decide to sell all of it on the black market. Typically stolen credit card numbers sell for around $5 - $10 each (according to an anonymous source familiar with the black market). If millions of new card numbers flood the market, it could bring the value down to a paltry $1 - $2 each.

12 comments | Read more

Ontario Court to Decide First Class Action Suit Against Sony in Canada

May 3, 2011 -

Toronto is the location of the latest class action suit against Sony launched on behalf of one million Canadian consumers for security breaches of the company's PlayStation Network and Qricoity. The class action alleges a breach of privacy and negligence on the part of Sony. The class action suit is seeking in excess of $1 billion in damages and is fronted by plaintiff Natasha Maksimovic, a 21-year-old Humber College student. Maksimovic describes herself as an avid PlayStation player and Sony e-reader user.

She filed her suit because she was concerned that Sony's security breach would have a dramatic impact on her privacy and her finances.

"I’m very loyal to Sony," she said in a phone interview with the Star. "I buy a lot of their products. I trust their brand. It’s kind of disappointing. I’m disappointed in the company to have something like this happen."

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Australian Government Planning Law in Response to PSN Security Breach

May 3, 2011 -

According to a report in newspaper WA Today, the Australian government announced plans to create a law forcing companies to disclose privacy breaches to the public. Newspaper WA Today reports that 1,560,791 Australian accounts were affected as a result of the attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network, along with 280,000 credit card details. A timeline for the introduction of this proposal was not revealed, but the government seems to be serious about it. In addition to planning a new law to deal with events like Sony's, the government has criticized the company over the way it has handled its security problems.

Privacy minister Brendan O'Connor recently said that he is "very concerned" over the data loss, but Sony isn't the only company he is concerned about when it comes to security and privacy issues.

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Sony Denies Reports That Hackers Offered to Sell Credit Cards Numbers Back

May 2, 2011 -

Even as Sony's online gaming services were being taken down this morning, the PlayStation Blog was updated denying reports that hackers tried to sell back millions of stolen credit cards to the company. Sony's Patrick Seybold said that the reports were false and that no one in the company recalls such an event occurring. The seedy underbelly of the internet where credit cards are bought and sold every day probably disagrees, but that's Sony's official stance on the subject. Of course, if such an offer were made it would not make much sense to buy back a list that would obviously be copied and resold anyways. From the PlayStation Blog:

"We want to state this again given the increase in speculation about credit card information being used fraudulently. One report indicated that a group tried to sell millions of credit card numbers back to Sony. To my knowledge there is no truth to this report of a list, or that Sony was offered an opportunity to purchase the list."

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More Lawmakers Want Answers From Sony

May 2, 2011 -

Sony has one more thing to worry about: Congress's Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. The group's chairperson, Representative Mary Bono Mack (R-Ca.) sent a letter to Sony Chairman Kazuo Hirai asking the company to answer a series of questions related to the PlayStation Network security breach. The committee wants a reply to the letter by May 6.

The group of lawmakers want answers to questions about when the security breach occurred, if Sony knew who was responsible for the attack, and when the company notified law enforcement. The letter also asked Sony to explain what it knew about the type of data that was stolen and if it included any credit card information. Sony has been saying publically that it has not been proven that credit card data has been stolen, but it also said that nearly 10 million users might be at risk. A mixed message to be sure.

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Sony Details Plans to Restore PlayStation Network

May 2, 2011 -

Sony Computer Entertainment announced that it will soon begin what it calls a "phased restoration by region" of PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. The first phase of that restoration will begin when its gaming, music and video services are turned back on. The company also announced a series of steps to enhance security across the network and a new customer appreciation program to thank its customers for their patience and loyalty. We suspect that some of these services will be live by week’s end.

3 comments | Read more

Report: Homeland Security Helping with PSN Investigation

April 29, 2011 -

According to this Gamasutra report, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is helping investigate the security breach of PlayStation Network that exposed millions of PSN users' personal data and credit card information to unauthorized intruders.

"The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the recent cyber intrusion to Sony's PlayStation Network and Qriocity music service," DHS spokesman Chris Ortman told government technology site NextGov. "DHS' U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team [CERT] is working with law enforcement, international partners and Sony to assess the situation."

9 comments | Read more

Report: Australian Man First PSN Victim of Credit Card Fraud

April 28, 2011 -

According to an ABC News report, an Adelaide, Australia man is the first official victim of credit card fraud related to Sony’s PlayStation Network security breach. Another report on PS3 hacking site PSX-Scene also alleges that some underground web sites that sell credit card information are trying to sell around 2.2 million credit cards from Europe - which includes user information, credit card numbers, CV numbers and expiration dates. The latter is anecdotal at the moment and has not been confirmed by law enforcement or Sony.

PSN Hulu Plus Users Gets One-Week Credit

April 27, 2011 -

Streaming media service Hulu has decided to compensate PlayStation Network Hulu Plus users with one-week credits via email today. The company said in a letter to customers that the credit can be redeemed any time over the next two weeks and pointed out that "no personal Hulu Plus account information was compromised as part of the Sony intrusion." The letter:

Hulu also mentioned the obvious: Hulu Plus users can use other devices to view media content. No doubt many subscribers had no choice over the last 6 - 8 days. On a related note, later this week Hulu Plus subscribers will have another out to watch content on: Xbox Live. Hulu Plus goes live on Xbox Live April 29.

The letter being sent to customers below:

1 comment | Read more

Gamers' Voice To File Complaint with Information Commissioner Over PSN

April 27, 2011 -

Update: A subsequent story on Eurogamer confirms that the Information Commissioner's Office has confirmed its plans to grill Sony over the theft of millions of PlayStation Network users' personal data and credit card information.

"The Information Commissioner's Office takes data protection breaches extremely seriously," the organization told Eurogamer this morning. "Any business or organization that is processing personal information in the UK must ensure they comply with the law, including the need to keep data secure. We have recently been informed of an incident which appears to involve Sony. We are contacting Sony and will be making further enquiries to establish the precise nature of the incident before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken by this office."

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SCEA 'Clarifies' PSN Timeline

April 26, 2011 -

A new post from Patrick Seybold (Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media) on the PlayStation Blog attempts to clarify some of the facts that were released earlier today by SCEA. Seybold says that SCEA first identified that there was a security breach of PSN and that user data might have been compromised on April 19.

It wasn't until yesterday, says Seybold, that the security firm it hired figured out that user data and credit card info had been compromised. Today it shared that information with the public. Below is Seybold's post from PlayStation Blog:

3 comments | Read more

Richard Blumenthal Sends Letter to Sony Over PSN Data Theft

April 26, 2011 -

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is not happy with Sony's revelation today that user data and credit card information may have been stolen from PlayStation Network users (thanks to gellymatos). He is so unhappy that he has sent a letter to Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America. In his letter to SCEA, Blumenthal noted that SCEA failed its customers by not informing them sooner.

"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… I am concerned that PlayStation Network users’ personal and financial information may have been inappropriately accessed by a third party,"

The full letter can be found below:

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SCEA: PlayStation Network Back Online 'Within the Week'

April 26, 2011 -

The U.S. PlayStation Blog has finally been updated with more information on what's going on with the PlayStation Network and what Sony is doing to expedite the process (thanks to Flamespeak and Andrew Eisen).

SCEA's Patrick Seybold (Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media) said that the service would be back on "within the week," and that they "have a clear path to have PlayStation Network and Qriocity systems back online." This week's releases have been rescheduled for a later time as well - though when that time will be remains a mystery. A letter from SCEA has been sent to PSN account holders’ emails explaining the security breach of the network.

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Q-Games: PSN Outage Hurting Developers Too

April 26, 2011 -

As this Eurogamer report suggests, users are not the only ones being hurt by the extended PlayStation Network downtime; game developers are losing lots of money. PixelJunk series developer Q-Games claims that the downtime is starting to cost it money.

"PSN being out definitely affects our bottom line," boss Dylan Cuthbert told IndustryGamers, "but as long as the people who were going to be playing Shooter 2 and other PixelJunk titles will get right back in there playing them when it comes back up we'll be happy and hopefully income won't be dented too much."

Cuthbert went on to say that he knows as much about the outage as users do at this point.

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Report: PSN Taken Down Because of Credit Card Scam

April 25, 2011 -

A speculative VentureBeat report suggests that Sony took down the PlayStation Network completely to avoid a new program that let hackers use a credit card number to download software - even if the credit card number was fake. The report points to a post on Reddit from a user named chesh420 - who is also a moderator at PS3 hacking site PSX-Scene.

 

The lengthy Reddit post contends that Sony took down the PlayStation Network because of a new custom firmware called Rebug, which basically turns a consumer PS3 into a limited developer PS3. This in turn gives the user access to the private developer section of the PlayStation Network. More from the posts on Reddit:

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PlayStation Network Down Until Further Notice

April 25, 2011 -

It has been five full days since the PlayStation Network went down and according to the most recent update from Sony, no end is in sight. The company said in a very brief blog post that they still don't know when PlayStation Network will be back online again. This news has to be disconcerting to PS3 owners who want to play games online, use the PlayStation Store or jump into PlayStation Home.

The latest update from the PlayStation Blog:

"I know you are waiting for additional information on when PlayStation Network and Qriocity services will be online. Unfortunately, I don’t have an update or timeframe to share at this point in time.

As we previously noted, this is a time intensive process and we’re working to get them back online quickly. We’ll keep you updated with information as it becomes available. We once again thank you for your patience."

We will continue to update this story as it develops.

4 comments

New Anonymous Video Promises Continued Fight Against Sony

April 14, 2011 -

While the fight between Sony and George Hotz is over, collective, faceless hacking group Anonymous says that it will not relent in its very public assault on the company for its treatment of consumers who want to share information and explore the depths of the PS3's technological capabilities. The group released a new video yesterday saying that it plans to fight on against Sony online and will still protest Sony Style stores around the world on April 16.

You can watch the latest video to your left. Obviously, Anonymous does not have the kind of massive support it had when it decided to protest Scientology around the world, but protests - even small ones - are not good PR if they are done right and offer the right messaging.

Source: Kotaku

39 comments

Sony Issues Statement on PS3 Hacks, Promises PSN Bans

February 16, 2011 -

Sony Computer Entertainment America today issued an official statement via the PlayStation Blog concerning its policy on jailbroken PS3 systems connecting to the PlayStation Network. The short story: it's a great way to get your account banned. First, the official notice from SCEA:

10 comments | Read more

Sony: 60 Million PSN Users to Date

January 7, 2011 -

To counteract all the good news coming from Microsoft about its consoles sales numbers and subscribers related to the Xbox 360, Sony made an announcement of its own at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Sony says that its PlayStation Network hit the 60 million-user mark in 2010. Annual signups of its free services were 20 million in 2010, the company added.

Those figures were announced by Sony chairperson, president and CEO Howard Stringer during its CES presentation

Also this week Microsoft announced that its online gaming service, Xbox Live, had hit the 50 million user mark. Unlike Microsoft, Sony focused on connected devices and 3-D products during CES and less on gaming. Microsoft talked about Kinect, Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7.

Source: MCV UK

2 comments

Censorship Issues Raised in PlayStation Home Beta

December 30, 2008 -

A number of common, non-obscene words are being filtered out of text chat on Sony's new PlayStation Home service, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Reportedly, "gay," "lesbian" and "bisexual" are among the words, as are "Christ" and "Jew." Even "Hello" is being filtered, presumably because it begins with "Hell."

Gamer Michael Marsh told the Chronicle:

I can understand if they're filtering out profanity, but if feel like it's discrimination. By blocking a word like 'gay,' which is a preferred term by the gay community, you're encouraging it as a bad word.

SCEA spokesman Patrick Seybold, however, reminded gamers that Home is a work in progress:

The key message is it's a beta and it's evolving on a daily basis. We've said early on that user behavior and feedback will shape where we go with Home.

20 comments

PS3 Home Launches Tomorrow... Can it Compete with XBL?

December 10, 2008 -

Sony will launch the beta version of PlayStation Home, its long-awaited PS 3 online service, beginning tomorrow.

PS Home would appear to be Sony's long-overdue riposte to Microsoft's popular Xbox Live service, which has been building a strong user base since the days of the original Xbox. Home takes a decidely different approach to its user interface, however. The service will function as a virtual 3D world along the lines of Second Life. Users will have individual avatars as well as personal spaces called "apartments" which can be decorated.

A company press release describes Home as:

...a ground-breaking 3D social gaming community available on PS3 that allows users to interact, communicate and share gaming experiences... Within PlayStation Home, users can create and customize their own unique avatars and explore the virtual community in real time where they can communicate freely through text or voice chat.

 

PlayStation Home users will not only be able to enjoy variety of entertainment content such as mini-games, videos and special events along with their friends, but will also be able to create their own community by using the “Club2” feature to create clubs with other PlayStation Home users who share the same interests. PlayStation Home also allows groups of users to launch directly into their favourite online games together from PlayStation Home.

VentureBeat's Dean Takahashi, who participated in Home's closed beta, writes:

Home is different from Second Life and World of Warcraft. Unlike those fully-built worlds, Home isn’t really a world. It’s more like a series of virtual spaces. If you want to visit your own personal apartment, where no one can visit without your permission, then you teleport there. If you want to go to the central plaza, you teleport there. Same goes for the bowling alley or the bar from the game Uncharted. You’re free to decorate your home as you wish. If you want to listen to music, you can walk up to a jukebox...

In the movie theater, you can go into a room and see what’s playing. You can actually watch that movie with your avatar in a social setting, making comments about it that others in the theater can see. That turns movie-watching into an online social experience. There is a profanity filter, and Home will be compliant with the PS 3’s own parental controls.

GP: The Home launch is a critical step for Sony and the PS3. Let's hope that they get it right. However, as a PS3 owner who tries to stay optimistic (Sony doesn't make this easy), I am concerned about the PS Home press release (I'm looking at the SCEE version), which devotes several paragraphs to the marketing of virtual crap for avatars. For example:

Thanks to Diesel, avatars can look great from the start with Diesel offering the latest men’s and women’s designer avatar clothing, with items ranging from free of charge to €1.50...


PlayStation®Home gives everyone their own apartment to spend time in and entertain friends - who will now be able relax on exclusive Ligne Roset furniture. At the virtual store, people will be able to choose from a selection of the most popular Ligne Roset designs...

 

A selection of virtual Watchmen merchandise e.g. T-Shirts with the smiley face logo, Doomsday clocks and character statues, will also be available in the New Year...

Meh.

XBL got it right by making an easy-to-use, pleasant gaming environment. Sony really needs to focus on its core gamers with PS Home. Everything else is just a distraction.

 
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WonderkarpDay 4 of my Amiibos. Still Unopened. Now pegged too a wall. I just love the packaging too much11/24/2014 - 8:12am
PHX Corp@Jessy I actually saw it on gamespot, seems that Nintendo accidently turned Samus into a Badass11/23/2014 - 9:28pm
Jessy HartAnybody else see the Samus Amiibo with 2 arm canons?11/23/2014 - 9:10pm
Andrew EisenNeo - If you're not bleeding then it's probably not you who needs to go to the doctor.11/23/2014 - 5:45pm
Wonderkarpgood. that kind of behavior is unnecessary.11/23/2014 - 5:44pm
WonderkarpGeorgina Young - Are Video Games Sexist? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX9LV4GuG9E11/23/2014 - 5:43pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://deadspin.com/starcraft-player-says-hell-rape-opponent-is-booted-f-1662346891/+Fahey11/23/2014 - 5:40pm
Wonderkarphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4a9tMGSTG411/23/2014 - 5:32pm
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Neo_DrKefkaThat would be a major OSHA violation correct?11/23/2014 - 1:54pm
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