According to Sony, a security breach that resulted in a complete and total shutdown of the PlayStation Network occurred between April 17th and April 19th. That breach prompted the company to shut down both Qriocity and the PlayStation Network.
Downtime is nothing to be surprised about when you’re dealing with an online service. It’s unfortunate, but whether you’re using Netflix, Xbox Live, Battle.net, or any other internet-based service, you’re going to run into times when you can’t get to it. Even High-Def Digest had some downtime this month. Of course, the current PlayStation Network issues are a little bigger than just a half hour of being unable to access a website. The entire service has been offline for a week.
Late last week, the PlayStation Network went down with no warning. PlayStation owners who wanted to purchase games, rent movies or play new releases online were understandably upset, and Sony’s relative silence on the issue didn’t help. The company published short blog posts to let people know that the issue was being looked into, but didn’t give any specifics.
Now it turns out that things are worse than just not being able to play videogames with your friends. The shutdown was the result of a security breach that has given hackers access to your name, email address, password, login and online handle. But it doesn’t stop there.
According to a letter that Sony will be sending out to customers, the hackers could have access to just about everything. “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.”
Credit cards aren’t safe either. “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,” says the letter.
Things are looking bad, but Sony has taken steps to solve the problem, starting by shutting down both PSN and Qriocity. The company has brought in an outside organization to investigate. Both the outside team and Sony will work to enhance security measures within the system.
Sony says that it’s essential that you change your password when the service comes back up. If you use the same email, username and password combination anywhere else, you’ll want to change them there as well. And of course, keep an eye on your account statements and credit reports to make sure no one is taking advantage of your information.
You can find the full letter from Sony at the Official PlayStation Blog.
There’s also an FAQ that details issues not addressed in the letter.