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PlayStation Network was compromised five years ago and the data of 77 million individuals was retrieved.
PlayStation Network was compromised five years ago and the data of 77 million individuals was retrieved. This was the biggest ever offence of its kind against gaming consoles and an incident that had a tremendous impact on PlayStation - both in the immediate future for its customers, for miles without accessing on-line content, and in the longer run because Sony wanted to regain customers' confidence.
Anonymously, PSN had kneeled down several time in April 2011 in the run-up to the data protection violation. For Anonymous, the information Geohot had uncovered - how to run counterfeit gaming, how to run home brew programs - was now publicly available, and if anything, Hotz had done Sony a favor by uncovering the company's own gap.
Ultimately, the group stopped their attack and accepted that they were only injuring Sony's end user, the players. But a few short months later, on April 19, 2011, PSN was met again. It took two whole day before Sony moved itself silently to PSN off-line. "And as you undoubtedly know, the recent contingency incident continues this afternoons and all Sony Online Network features are still unavailable," the owner of the PSN console told PSN subscribers on 21 April.
We continue to work with our engineering staff to recover and service our products, and we value the ongoing customer service. However, the net would not be up and running again for the next three months until 14 May. On the first morning, Sony alerted clients that it could take up to 48 hrs to sign up again.
On the next morning, Sony admitted - there was an "external burglary" and now carried out a "thorough inquiry to check the proper and safe functioning of our networking service in the future". But so far, there has been no alert that anyone's personally identifiable information is compromised. Sony would only confirm this message in the next four and a half years.
Exactly one time period aft the nonaccomplishment, and Sony had stayed quiet to the origin. Suspicion focused on Sony unplugging the PSN to prevent further testing of its system. However, the Sony update itself stayed upbeat, albeit slightly shy. The Sony engineering team worked "around the clock" to re-establish the service, reassuring PSNbers.
April 26 was the night when Sony brought the bad news: the privacy of the lives of millions of people had been compromise. "While we are still looking into the detail of this event, we believe that an unauthorized individual has received the following information you have given us," Sony conceded. These included user name, home address, e-mail address, date of birth, PSN password and user name.
The PSN profiles, purchasing histories, invoice addresses, and responses to safety questions were also compromised. Even more serious, Sony could not "rule out" that credit cards were also taken. "When you have provided your credit information through PlayStation Network, for your safety we will notify you that your credit number ( without safety code) and expiry date may have been received," Sony closed.
Once it became known that personally identifiable information had actually been taken, players were naturally upset. It was not only Sony's system that had gone down, but the organisation had taken a whole weeks to make PSN customers fully aware as well. To give you a foretaste of how we felt back then, Rich had written this article about the safety side of things and how hackers had post chats transcripts that talked about Sony's obsolete safety.
According to him, the attack was "one of the greatest vulnerabilities of the web age". In a matter of a few short working days, a highly competitive Sony had to tell why it had been waiting so long to tell its clients the scale of the loss. "On April 19, we were told there was a break-in, and then we closed the service.
"There was a need for several day's litigation analyses, and it took until yesterdays for our specialists to grasp the extent of the violation. "PSN people hurried to modify their password elsewhere - but could not modify their data on PSN itself because the site stayed off-line. Meanwhile, respondents were quickly pointing out the great challenge Sony was facing to restore confidence among consumers.
PSN remained off-line for the following few weeks. Anonymously involved in the assault, the British authorities considered and pledged an inquiry by the Information Commissioner's Office, and Sir Howard Stringer, head of Sony Corporation, issued an open excuse note. "So far, there is no corroborated proof that a credit card or personally identifiable information has been abused, and we are continuing to keep a close eye on the issue.
" Sony held a Tokyo news briefing on 1 May to present the new safety features. For PS3 and PSP users, there are two free online casino matches per system and a 30-day free PlayStation Plus account. It also said Sony would provide free one-year anti ID fraud coverage for consumers.
The new PSN safeguards announced include a higher level of privacy and cryptography, extra firwalls and new early detection tools. "Not only did this crime against our networks have a significant effect on our customers, but on our whole industry," said Sony Executive Director Kazuo Hirai at the forefront. "But there were still unanswered question as to how the information had even been accessed by a hacker.
Revealed in the following few weeks, the evidences indicate that Sony's system had previously been "obselete" and "long outdated" - accusations that Sony then simply rejected. A subsequent review, however, proposed that Sony had dismissed Sony's guards ahead of the assault and ignored warning that an invasion of private life was possible. In the middle of the same month, Sony began restoring PSN capabilities in stages, area by area, service first.
Forcing Sony to apologize to creators whose games were interrupted by the assault, or whose on-line service was no longer available. When PSN returned, there were inevitable childhood illnesses for several whole day, as all e-mail sent by the user requested a secret code restore, which caused Sony's e-mail servers to collapse.
At first Sony estimates that the hack would result in a minimum charge of 105 million pounds, although the firm later assumed that the effects were not as financial as once expected. The PSN recovered and added another three million additional subscribers in the four month period following the outbreak. At the beginning of Sony's 2011 edition of the ED3 2011 news briefing, Jack Tretton, the then US chief executive of Sony, was very much involved with the subject and once again apologised for the "fear caused".
" At some point Sony was confronted with 55 collective actions and finally accepted to provide further redress for those affected. It took until last year for the detail to be completed, by then PS3 had long since been superseded, and the PS4 triumph had made the whole story a remote one.
However, Sony is still updating its system - just last weekend Sony said it would eventually implement a two-step review three years after Microsoft did the same for Xbox Live. Since then, there have been no common vulnerabilities, although console networking remains susceptible to concentrated DDOS assaults - as you can see when both PSN and Xbox Live broke down over Christmas 2014.
As I watched the PSN chopping move away from the side line and Sony recorded the parts, I can't recall another incident that affected so many players at once and - at least at that point - caused so many to care about the security of their own data. PlayStation users, designers and Sony itself hope that this will never happen again.