Sony fends off mass hack attempt

Sony has locked 93,000 customer accounts on its online gaming services after detecting an attempt to access the services using a "massive set" of stolen log-in data. 

The attempted intrusion is first public test for Sony’s new chief information security officer, Philip Reitinger, who joined from the US Department of Homeland Security last month.

Although Sony was the victim of a number of successful hacking attacks earlier this year, the company believes the data used in this attempt came from a third party.

"Given that the data tested against our network consisted of sign-in ID-password pairs, and that the overwhelming majority of the pairs resulted in failed matching attempts, it is likely the data came from another source and not from our networks," Reitinger wrote in an official blog post.

The log-in details proved correct for 93,000 customer accounts, and it is these that Sony has locked down. "Less than 0.1% of our [online gaming services] audience may have been affected," Reitinger said. "If you have a credit card associated with your account, your credit card number is not at risk."

Sky News reports that the attacks took place between October 7 and 10. If this is the case, Sony’s has therefore been much faster than in April this year, when it failed to inform users of more serious attack for over a week.

Reitinger said that users with compromised accounts would need to reset their passwords with new, secure ones. "We encourage you to choose unique, hard-to-guess passwords and always look for unusual activity in your account," he said.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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