After temporarily turning off its online gaming network, revealing that the service had been hacked, communicating that the hacker(s) had gained access to users’ sensitive data and subsequently facing backlash and possible lawsuits from the gaming community, Sony has begun issuing a series of Q&As and updates regarding the PlayStation Network situation that’s still ongoing. The latest update came this morning, as Sony sent a second note to all subscribers with an update on the security of the PlayStation Network (click here to read the first note Sony sent to subscribers).
In this second letter outlining a PlayStation Network security update, Sony also clarified some misconceptions and falsehoods that have sprung up in the wake of the PSN hacking. Most notably, “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.”
The full transcript of Sony’s PlayStation Network security update is below.
On Tuesday, April 26 we shared that some information that was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. Once again, we’d like to apologize to the many users who were inconvenienced and worried about this situation.
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.
One other point to clarify is from this weekend’s press conference. While the passwords that were stored were not “encrypted,” they were transformed using a cryptographic hash function. There is a difference between these two types of security measures which is why we said the passwords had not been encrypted. But I want to be very clear that the passwords were not stored in our database in cleartext form. For a description of the difference between encryption and hashing, follow this link.
To reiterate a few other security measures for your 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.
We continue to work with law enforcement and forensic experts to identify the criminals behind the attack. Once again, we apologize for causing users concern over this matter.
Our objective is to increase security so our customers can safely and confidently play games and use our network and media services. We will continue to provide updates as we have them.