The Sony PlayStation Network was taken down again on Wednesday, to protect user's passwords. Image: Flickr / PseudoGrill / CC-BY

In yet another of a long line of hiccups, the Sony PlayStation network is down again. The latest downtime was instigated by PlayStation engineers. Engineers shut down the password page in an effort to protect user accounts.

User account information compromised

The PlayStation hack that originated more than a month ago exposed hundreds of thousands of pieces of user information to unknown hackers. This information included usernames, passwords, first names, last names, birthdays, credit card numbers and addresses. The “system intrusion” first happened on April 17, and the networks were pulled offline on April 20. The PlayStation networks are being re-set and opened back up to players in stages.

Password reset breach

First discovered by bloggers and exploited as proof-of-concept by game website Eurogamer, a new hack has been revealed on the PlayStation network. The PlayStation password reset page uses a username, email address and birth date to re-set the password for the network. All of this information was included in the network intrusion. Effectively, this means that users’ network passwords could be re-set by anyone with that information, including hackers or other individuals who have come by that information without the permission of the user. Sony took the network down to fix this hack and has assured users that passwords are again safe.

What is happening with that data

PlayStation Network user data that was stolen during the network intrusion has not yet been definitely tracked down. If the perpetrators are eventually found, they may be prosecuted for theft. Many users are reporting that they are receiving calls from call centers requesting the CCV code, the credit card security code attached to credit card numbers. It is likely that whoever stole the data is attempting to exploit it for financial gain. As with all things online, you should ensure that passwords are changed regularly; if you get a phone call requesting financial details, ask for a return phone number and call back. If you have any doubt at all, do not give out your details over the phone or online.


Official PlayStation Blog


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