201w ago - Playstation Blog updated with latest info:
Thank you for your patience while we work to resolve the current outage of PlayStation Network & Qriocity services. We don't have an exact date to share at this moment as to when we will have the services turned on, but are working day and night to ensure it is as quickly as possible. We are currently working to send the following message via email to all of our registered account holders regarding a compromise of personal information as a result of this malicious attack on our servers, so please look for this information via email as well. Please note that we are as upset as you are regarding this attack and are going to proceed aggressively to track down those that are responsible.
We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. In response to this intrusion, we have:
1) Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;
2) Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and
3) Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by re-building our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.
We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.
Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state/province, zip or postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity passwords and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence that credit card data was taken at this time, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, to be on the safe side we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may also have been obtained.
For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security, tax identification or similar number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well.
To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant to review your account statements and to monitor your credit or similar types of reports.
We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible. Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information. Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority. Please check www.eu.playstation.com/psnoutage should you have any additional questions.
Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment Teams
Sony Network Entertainment Europe Limited (formerly known as PlayStation Network Europe Limited) is a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited the data controller for PlayStation Network/Qriocity personal data.
Also - one quite suspicious aspect about all this is the "moving to the more secure location" - why would they need to do that if it was purelly outside attack? Or did they hosted it untill now in somebody's bedroom or what??
“a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack,”
This may be true Sony, but they would of needed some small amount of inside help one way or another, whether you admit that or not.
I still do not believe the group that allegedly did this will harm anyone other than pissing off Sony, and if reports come out that they are selling this info, then it will most likely to be fake or some kind of entrapment lol.
Sony was told about this months ago, they didn't find this, Sony didn't know they had a shadow on their system nor would they have, until they was told.
If I remember they was told Sony's system was insecure and needed addressing for the public's safety, and Sony being Sony thought they knew best and did nothing, so the group being the Jedi's nights luckily in this matter have saved the day and saved the data from the evil Sony empire and the black market, and made Sony sit up and smell the coffee and take note to stop this data getting into the wrong hands.
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)’s Web Services cloud- computing unit was used by hackers in last month’s attack against Sony Corp. (6758)’s online entertainment systems, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Hackers using an alias signed up to rent a server through Amazon’s EC2 service and launched the attack from there, said the person, who requested anonymity because the information is confidential. The account has been shut down, the person said.
The development sheds light on how hackers used the so- called cloud to carry out the second-biggest online theft of personal information to date. The incursion, which compromised the personal accounts of more than 100 million Sony customers, was “a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack,” Sony has said.
Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Seattle-based Amazon, declined to comment.
“We’re continuing to work with law enforcement in an ongoing investigation into the situation,” said Patrick Seybold, a U.S. spokesman for Tokyo-based Sony. “As such, we will not comment further on this matter.”
The hackers didn’t break into the Amazon servers, the person said. Rather, they signed up for the service just as a legitimate company would, using fake information.
Even so, the breach at Amazon is likely to call attention to concerns some businesses have voiced over the security of computing services delivered via others’ remote servers, referred to as cloud computing.
Cloud security is Amazon’s top priority, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said at an event sponsored by Consumer Reports magazine this week.
“Data security is one of these great dynamic situations where the bad guys get better, and the good guys have to keep getting better too -- it’s not a static situation,” Bezos said, Fast Company’s website reported. “I don’t think this is ever going away -- it’s like trying to say that you’re going to get crime to go away.”
The use of a hijacked or rented server to launch attacks is typical for sophisticated hackers. The proliferation of server farms around the globe has made such misdirection easier, said E.J. Hilbert, president of the security company Online Intelligence and a former FBI cyber-crime investigator.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation will likely subpoena Amazon as part of its investigation process, or it may try to obtain a search warrant, Hilbert said.
“The subpoena will give law enforcement a history of the transactions,” or who had access to the specific Internet address at that time, Hilbert said. “The search warrant will get them more detailed information, including payment information and which credit card was used.”
Herdener declined to say whether Amazon has been subpoenaed or served with a search warrant.
FBI Special Agent Darrell Foxworth, a spokesman for the agency’s San Diego office, said he couldn’t comment on whether the agency had served Amazon with a search warrant or subpoena.
“We are following up on each and every lead,” Foxworth said.
“The search warrant will get them more detailed information, including payment information and which credit card was used.”
Surely only idiot would use his / her own credit card for that - it it was so "highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack" then they'd either use the stolen card or prepaid one. Either way this lead would be pretty much useless. And indeed, in the same terms - from which location / IP was the transaction performed and any consequentuall access to the rented cloud space done.
And - for those liking the bit of conspiracy - why not assume that even the Amazon "failure due the the update / backup" was not for example another part of the cover up of the attack to Sony?
Among other things, the intruders deleted log files in order to hide the extent of their work and activity within the network.
Sony aparently never heard of proper and most of all secure loging to the external / remote systems which has no other direct access from monitored system apart of storing the sent logs itself and indeed constantly backing them up and so on - clueless.
Update: PSN is now back online in Japan, and Kaz Harai has made available a video statement with all the related details.
Following news that PSN internal testing is currently underway, today the official PlayStation Japan site has issued an update regarding the PlayStation Network outage alongside details from the official letter Sony sent out to their publishing partners.
To quote, roughly translated: "PlayStation Network” and “Qriocity” and continued failure, I am sorry indeed. As we told the other day with the latest information in regard to future service restart, will be conducted in stages on a regional basis to ensure the safety of our customers.
We are preparing to be able to resume service as soon as possible in Japan, and is now doing the verification stage for ensuring the safety and security, providing more advanced. Server to complete the relocation of more secure facilities, further strengthening the encryption, firewalls and expansion of new customers with peace of mind again on “PlayStation Network” and “Qriocity” to stay.
We also are supporting the monitoring and the introduction of warning systems to facilitate early detection of cyber attacks, subjected to a system upgrade intended to eliminate vulnerabilities, established a system to ensure information management to protect important personal information of customers.
For those of you committed to ensuring safety, but would take some time for some time now, humbly thank you for your understanding. For the latest information, this website will guide you at any time. To everyone of our customers and partners, we deeply apologize for the inconvenience and inconvenience."
In related news, IndustryGamers.com has shared a copy of the official letter Sony SVP Rob Dyer sent out regarding PSN to their publishing partners, as detailed below:
As you know, certain PlayStation Network, Qriocity and Sony Online Entertainment service user account information was compromised in criminal attacks against our networks. I want to assure you, as a PlayStation partner, that it is Sony’s top priority to restore our network operations and see that business is returned to usual as soon as possible.
We are working around the clock to restore service, but will do so only when we can ensure that the network can operate safely and securely. In the meantime, we greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill.
On Tuesday, April 19, 2011, Sony discovered that several PlayStation Network servers unexpectedly rebooted themselves and that unplanned and unusual activity was taking place on the network. This activity triggered an immediate response.
Sony mobilized a larger internal team to assist the investigation of the four suspect servers. That team discovered the first credible indications that an intruder had been in the PlayStation Network system, and six more servers were identified as possibly being compromised. Sony immediately decided to shut down all of the PlayStation Network services in order to prevent any additional damage.
The scope and complexity of the investigation grew substantially as additional evidence about the attack developed.
The forensic teams were able to confirm that intruders had used very sophisticated and aggressive techniques to obtain unauthorized access, hide their presence from system administrators and escalate privileges inside the servers. Among other things, the intruders deleted log files in order to hide the extent of their work and activity within the network.
On Sunday May 1, using information uncovered by the forensic teams, engineers at Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) discovered that data had also been taken from their servers. They, too, shut down operations and on Monday, May 2, announced the discovery.
What Data Are Affected?
As you may know, personal data was stolen from approximately 77 million PlayStation network and Qriocity service accounts.
As of this writing, there remains no evidence that the credit card information was stolen and the major credit card companies are still reporting that they have not seen an increase in fraudulent transactions due to this event.
What Steps Are Being Taken?
We have taken aggressive action to give consumers peace of mind, protect them against the abuse of their data, and enhance our security systems moving forward.
We have already advised our consumers in the U.S. that we will offer complimentary identity theft protection services through a leading provider, including an insurance program of up to $1 million. Similar programs are being developed in other markets around the world.
In addition, Sony is taking a series of steps to enhance security of our network infrastructure. They include but are not limited to:
adding additional automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks;
enhanced levels of data protection and encryption, as well as additional penetration and vulnerability testing;
enhanced capabilities to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns;
implementation of additional firewalls;
expediting a planned move of the system to a new data center in a different location with enhanced security; and
appointment of a new Chief Information Security Officer.
Finally, to thank our customers for their patience and loyalty, we are offering them “welcome back” packages as soon as the networks are restored, including free downloads of selected PlayStation entertainment, 30 days of free service as well as service extensions for the number of days PSN and Qriocity services were unavailable, with similar benefits for Music Unlimited subscribers.
We of course deeply regret that this incident has occurred. We are working closely with the FBI to identify and apprehend the culprits who committed this crime against our consumers, our partners and our company. I know you can appreciate how widespread the problem of cybercrime is in society today. Although no company is immune, we are confident our consumer data will be protected by some of the best security measures available today.
As a valued partner we aim to keep the lines of communication open so that you are aware of our progress. Our focus has been to confirm the security of the networks, protect customer data and get the services back on line as quickly as possible. We will do our best to respond to all of your inquiries and we will do everything we possibly can to support you.
We are doing everything we can to bring these services back online as soon as possible. We will update you with more information as soon as we can, but please call your account executive if you have further questions. We thank you for your patience and look forward to moving ahead together in the months and years to come.