Some PS3 games won't work in offline mode; Anonymous suspected behind the attack
The PlayStation Network has been down since last Wednesday, eerily close to Anonymous' recent open threat to Sony. After waiting almost a week for the online service to resume, Sony finally issued a statement on through a blog post officially announcing that the PSN and Qriocity, its on-demand digital music service have been affected by a security breach. Nearly 77 million PSN users have been affected by the breach. Although the number of individual subscribers may be smaller due to the existence of alternate IDs, the total figure is still estimated in the millions. The PSN intrusion is especially concerning because the hacker(s) seem to have plundered user privacy data of the several million PSN users, according to Sony's official statement:
"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, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password 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."
What's enraged Sony customers is the fact that it waited six days before acknowledging the security breach and warning users about it. If you have a PSN account, you must immediately change the password and do the same for any accounts which share the same password. Additionally, if your credit card has been attached to the PSN account, it would be prudent to keep a watch on the same. While Sony states that there's no evidence of credit card data being compromised, it still claims that such an eventuality cannot be ruled out.
The blog post explains, "While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained."
The worst hit are games that require online access for in-game features and anti-piracy security checks. With PSN down, these games will not work even in the offline mode. Sony claims to get the service back on track within a week, but the situation seems to be grim because Anonymous is suspected to be behind the attack. Knowing their relentlessness, Sony better shore up its defences before letting the hackers have another go at PSN. The Anonymous angle has also been posted by Sony in the official FAQ. Here's an excerpt:
"Is the attack by 'Anonymous' or another party?"
We are currently conducting a thorough investigation of the situation. Since this is an overall security related issue, we cannot comment further at this time."