Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Sony's Been Hacked Again; Everquest and Other Games Are Offline

Gaming and electronics giant Sony disclosed yet another attack by hackers that has resulted in the shutdown of yet another of its online gaming services.

The company announced an attack against its Sony Online Entertainment service Tuesday Tokyo time and has temporarily shut the service down. It said the attacks occurred on April 16 and 17.

Sony said in this case, the personal data of some 26.4 million people who play Sony’s multiplayer games, including Everquest and Star Wars Galaxies, was accessed. The information stolen included names, addresses, account names and passwords. Additionally, some 12,700 non-U.S. credit and debit card numbers with their expiration dates plus an additional 10,000 direct debit records belonging to customers in Austria and Germany were taken. Sony described these as having come from an “outdated” database.

Sony offered the customers an additional 30 days of playing time and help enrolling in identity theft protection services. Though you have to wonder how many will consider that sufficient incentive to maintain an account and keep playing.

Sony is already facing a steadily gathering legal and regulatory pile-on in the wake of a data breach in which the personal data of some 77 million customers of its PlayStation Gaming Network was compromised, including the credit card numbers of as many as 10 million people. Sony today declined to testify at a congressional hearing on the matter set for Wednesday.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik