Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) will be back later this week after being shut down on April 20th due to a security breach that exposed user information, including up to 10 million credit card numbers. Sony aims to make up for it with 30 day free membership and other freebies, you can read the company's PR over here.
Following a criminal cyber-attack on the company’s data-center located in San Diego, California, U.S.A., SNEI quickly turned off the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, engaged multiple expert information security firms over the course of several days and conducted an extensive audit of the system. Since then, the company has implemented a variety of new security measures to provide greater protection of personal information. SNEI and its third-party experts have conducted extensive tests to verify the security strength of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. 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
Working closely with several outside security firms, the company has implemented significant security measures to further detect unauthorized activity and provide consumers with greater protection of their personal information. The company is also 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 also expedited an already planned move of the system to a new data center in a different location that has been under construction and development for several months. In addition, PS3 will have a forced system software update that will require all registered PlayStation Network users to change their account passwords before being able to sign into the service. As an added layer of security, that password can only be changed on the same PS3 in which that account was activated, or through validated email confirmation, a critical step to help further protect customer data.
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.
The latest development in this fiasco is the takedown of Sony's Online Entertainment service. The company says the temporary shutdown is related to the PSN breach:
In a message posted earlier today on Sony Online's Station.com web site, it said that a decision was made to "temporarily" shut down its service. It added, "In the course of our investigation into the intrusion into our systems we have discovered an issue that warrants enough concern for us to take the service down effective immediately." The site said that more info on this situation would be provided later on Monday.
Sony Online Entertainment is the massively multiplayer division of Sony. It develops and runs a number of MMO games including Everquest, Everquest 2, Star Wars Galaxies, Planetside, Free Realms and most recently DC Universe Online. A few weeks ago Sony Online announced plans to cut a large number of its employees along with shutting down three of its five internal game development studios.