It seems the recent down time of the Playstation Network has been because of more than an upcoming update like many speculated. Sony have confirmed on the Official European blog that PSN’s account data has in fact been compromised by an unknown perpetrator. It is unknown how or why the service was attacked and the method used to gain entry to it’s users personal data.
Sony went on to say that they have “engaged” an outside security firm to investigate the situation and presumably report their findings on how the attackers penetrated the network. Apparently Sony are hard at work completely rebuilding and strengthening PSN in the light of this attack, but there is no official word yet on when service will recommence.
They have this to say about the nature of data obtained and the possibility of Credit card data being in the hands of the hackers:
“Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state/province, zip or postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity passwords and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence that credit card data was taken at this time, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, to be on the safe side we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may also have been obtained. ”
If you have an active PSN account with a Credit card attached I would advise you to keep a close eye on your next few statements. Not only that but be very weary of any communication in the next few weeks or months, that claim to either be from Sony or that ask for any personal information.
How this will affect customer opinion on PSN and whether this will affect its current population count will be seen in the coming weeks. My only hope is this will be handled quickly and efficiently without any financial loss to PSN customers, because it’s sure to make this disastrous situation an even bigger PR nightmare for Sony if it isn’t.