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October 13, 2011

Sony thwarts hack attack

Blocks over 90,000 PSN and SOE accounts, after hackers try breaching into user accounts

By CBR Staff Writer

Japanese electronics company Sony has said that an attempt to compromise thousands of PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment accounts has been thwarted.

Sony said that it shut down access to the accounts at the first sign of trouble. However, by then, 93,000 accounts were affected, said the company.

The company said that it would soon send emails to its customers with locked accounts and explain to reactivate them.

The company said that a test of username/password combinations, obtained from other companies or sources, was used to breach the accounts of PSN and SOE users.

The "overwhelming majority" of those username/password combinations failed, claimed Sony. It said that there were valid logins in around 60,000 PSN and 33,000 SOE accounts, all of which have blocked. The company said that only a small fraction showed activity beyond log-ins. It added that credit card details of users in not at risk.

Chief Information Security Officer Philip Reitinger said, "Less than one tenth of one percent (0.1%) of our PSN, SEN and SOE audience may have been affected."

"If you have a credit card associated with your account, your credit card number is not at risk. We will work with any users whom we confirm have had unauthorised purchases made to restore amounts in the PSN/SEN or SOE wallet."

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This is the second time hackers have targeted the Japanese company.

Earlier this year, Sony suffered, what is claimed to be the biggest hack attack in history, with millions of accounts compromised across the world. It took nearly a month for the company to restore its services then. The company also had to face criticism and legal action over the delay in announcing the scale and impact of the hack attacks. A probe is still on over the first PSN attack.However, it is believed that hackers had grouped together to avenge Sony’s action against hacker ‘GeoHotz’.

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