Sony taking precautions following failed hack attack

Sony is taking no chance with the security of its online customers following a small, yet potentially troubling attack on its PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network membership. Recently, the company's newly appointed VP and chief information security officerPhilip Reltiger posted a letter on the US and European PlayStation Blog, informing PSN users that his team had detected an attempt to gain access to an estimated 93,000 accounts using lifted user info. While the attack was largely unsuccessful, Sony plans to temporarily lock the affected accounts until further investigation.

According to Reltiger, the attempted account hacks were directed at 0.1% of Sony's entire user base; 60,000 of which were PSN and SEN members, and only 33,000 of which belonged to Sony Online Entertainment. Further, only a small number of the accounts had registered activity before the attempted attack, indicating they were either inactive or unused; and no credit cards associated with the accounts are in risk. Nevertheless, Sony has pledged to provide assistance to any customers who believe they've had erroneous purchases made on their account without their knowing, and Reltiger and his team will be instructing all affected members to reset their passwords through email.

In the meantime, Reltiger advised all PSN users to use caution when setting their passwords, saying, “We want to take this opportunity to remind our consumers about the increasingly common threat of fraudulent activity online, as well as the importance of having a strong password and having a username/password combination that is not associated with other online services or sites. We encourage you to choose unique, hard-to-guess passwords and always look for unusual activity in your account.”

The important thing here is not to panic. This is not another full-blown PSN attack. The announcement suggests that Sony is taking any and all potential online threats seriously and seems to be doing a better job of keeping its customers in the loop. In short: Phillip Reltiger is on the case. But do you feel safer?

Oct 12, 2011

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.