In our Portal 2 review we noted the PS3’s PSN outage and hoped it would be a short-lived issue. Since that time, what appeared to be a minor outage has been exposed as a malicious hack of the PlayStation Network that resulted in the theft of Qriocity user data. Amid outcry and concern from the gaming community, Sony has sent an email to all PSN and Qruicity users regarding the outage and their account security, as well as a Q&A about the PSN and Qriocity outage. We thought you’d want to read the PSN outage Q&A as it came directly from Sony, so here it is in its entirety:
First off, we want to again thank you for your patience. We know that the PlayStation Network and Qriocity outage has been frustrating for you. We know you are upset, and so we are taking steps to make our services safer and more secure than ever before. We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this outage has caused, and rest assured that we’re going to get the services back online as quickly as we can.
We received a number of questions and comments yesterday and early today relating to the criminal intrusion into our network. We’d like to address some of the most common questions today.
We are also going to continue to post updates to this blog with any additional information and insight that we can over the next few days.
We are reading your comments. We are listening to your suggestions. Please keep them coming.
Q: Are you working with law enforcement on this matter?
A: Yes, we are currently working with law enforcement on this matter as well as a recognized technology security firm to conduct a complete investigation. This malicious attack against our system and against our customers is a criminal act and we are proceeding aggressively to find those responsible.
Q: Was my personal data encrypted?
A: All of the data was protected, and access was restricted both physically and through the perimeter and security of the network. The entire credit card table was encrypted and we have no evidence that credit card data was taken. The personal data table, which is a separate data set, was not encrypted, but was, of course, behind a very sophisticated security system that was breached in a malicious attack.
Q: Was my credit card data taken?
A: While all credit card information stored in our systems is encrypted and there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained. Keep in mind, however that your credit card security code (sometimes called a CVC or CSC number) has not been obtained because we never requested it from anyone who has joined the PlayStation Network or Qriocity, and is therefore not stored anywhere in our system.
Q: What steps should I take at this point to help protect my personal data?
A: For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well. To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports.
Q: What if I don’t know which credit card I’ve got attached to my PlayStation Network account?
A: If you’ve added funds to your PlayStation Network wallet in the past, you should have received a confirmation email from “DoNotReply@ac.playstation.net” at the email address associated with your account. This email would have been sent to you immediately after you added the funds, and will contain the first 4 digits and last 4 digits of your credit card number. You can also check your previous credit card statements to determine which card was attached to your PlayStation Network or Qriocity accounts.
Q: When or how can I change my PlayStation Network password?
A: We are working on a new system software update that will require all users to change their password once PlayStation Network is restored. We will provide more details about the new update shortly.
Q: Have all PlayStation Network and Qriocity users been notified of the situation?
A: In addition to alerting the media and posting information about it on this blog, we have also been sending emails directly to all 77 million registered accounts. It takes a bit of time to send that many emails, and recognize that not every email will still be active, but this process has been underway since yesterday. At this time, the majority of emails have been sent and we anticipate that all registered accounts will have received notifications by April 28th. Consumers may also visit www.us.playstation.com/support and www.qriocity.com for notices regarding this issue. In addition, we have taken steps to disseminate information regarding this issue to media outlets so that consumers are informed.
Q: What steps is Sony taking to protect my personal data in the future?
A: We’ve taken several immediate steps to add protections for your personal data. First, we temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and, second, we are enhancing security and strengthening our network infrastructure. Moving forward, we are initiating several measures that will significantly enhance all aspects of PlayStation Network’s security and your personal data, including moving our network infrastructure and data center to a new, more secure location, which is already underway. We will provide additional information on these measures shortly.
Q: Has Sony identified the party or parties responsible for the PlayStation Network hack and subsequent theft of personal information?
A: We are currently conducting a thorough investigation of the situation and are working closely with a recognized technology security firm and law enforcement in order to find those responsible for this criminal act no matter where in the world they might be located.
Q: When will the PlayStation Network and Qriocity be back online?
A: Our employees have been working day and night to restore operations as quickly as possible, and we expect to have some services up and running within a week from yesterday. However, we want to be very clear that we will only restore operations when we are confident that the network is secure.