Sony Recovering after Criminal Cyber Attack

Following a criminal cyber-attack on the company’s data-center located in San Diego, California, U.S.A., Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI) quickly turned off the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.

It engaged multiple expert information security firms over the course of several days and conducted an extensive audit of the system. 

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and SNEI announced today, May 1, they will shortly begin a phased restoration by region of PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, beginning with gaming, music and video services to be turned on. 

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The company also announced both a series of immediate steps to enhance security across the network and a new customer appreciation program to thank its customers for their patience and loyalty.

The company has implemented new security measures to provide greater protection of personal information. SNEI and its third-party experts have conducted tests to verify the security strength of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.

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With these measures in place, SCE and SNEI plan to start a phased rollout by region of the services shortly. The initial phase of the rollout will include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Restoration of Online game-play across the PlayStation 3 (PS3) and PSP (PlayStation Portable) systems
  • This includes titles requiring online verification and downloaded games
  • Access to Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3/PSP for existing subscribers
  • Access to account management and password reset
  • Access to download un-expired Movie Rentals on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
  • PlayStation Home
  • Friends List
  • Chat Functionality

Sony Computer Entertainment announced recently that the cumulative sales of the PlayStation3 (PS3) computer entertainment system reached a milestone of 50 million units worldwide, as of March 29, 2011. It also said that PlayStation Move sales surpassed 8 million units worldwide as of April 3, demonstrating continued growth of the PS3 platform. (Read: PlayStation3 Sales Reach 50 Million Units)

Now, the company is creating the position of Chief Information Security Officer, directly reporting to Shinji Hasejima, Chief Information Officer of Sony Corporation, to add a new position of expertise in and accountability for customer data protection and supplement existing information security personnel.

The new security measures implemented include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Added automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks
  • Enhanced levels of data protection and encryption
  • Enhanced ability to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns
  • Implementation of additional firewalls

The company is conducting a thorough and on-going investigation and working with law enforcement to track down and prosecute those responsible for the illegal intrusion.

Photo courtesy: Sony Computer Entertainment

RMN News

Rakesh Raman