As Sony fans know only too well, the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have been unavailable for the past week. The platform holder today issued a statement confirming that the two services were targeted by hackers between 17th and 19th April. The decision was subsequently made to take them offline. According to a follow up post, it wasn’t until yesterday that the full extent of the problem was determined.
Sony has conceded that a range of data may have been compromised, including account holders’ real names, user names, birthdates, passwords, email addresses and physical addresses (city, postcode and country only). Sony has also conceded that it “cannot rule out the possibility” that credit card details have also been accessed, though it claims there is currently no evidence that this has occurred.
Sony is yet to set a date for the restoration of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity, stating only that the issue will be resolved “as quickly and efficiently as practicable.” The down time will apparently be used to investigate the breach and enhance security. At this stage, Sony is yet to announce if any form of compensation will be provided to subscribers. The company has elaborated on the breach in an extensive blog post here.
UPDATE (28.04.11) Sony has indicated that it hopes to restore some services within the next week. It has also stated that it will shortly require all users to change their passwords. The post also outlines a number of measures that users can take to minimise their exposure to data theft. Read the full PlayStation Network and Qriocity Outage FAQ here.
UPDATE (29.04.11) A new statement has appeared on the PlayStation Blog assuring users that the breach will not result in the loss of cloud saves, download history or trophies. The post also suggests that Sony is planning to compensate (in an undisclosed fashion) players of exclusively online titles such as Free Realms and DC Universe Online. The company claims it also working on a “goodwill gesture” to thank PSN suscibers for their “extraordinary patience”. Read the full PlayStation Network and Qriocity Services FAQ #2 here.
UPDATE (05.05.11) Sony has conceded that it knew that “data of some kind had been taken from the PlayStation Network servers” on Wednesday 20 April, though it claims that its team “didn’t know what the data was” at that time. As reported by Kotaku, the admission came in the form of a letter to the US Congress, which is investigating the privacy breach.