Just when we thought the Sony mess was over, gamers ventured over to Sony Online Entertainment’s webpage to find a message stating the service has been temporarily suspended. Last night, SOE gamers were greeting with the news that SOE was not spared from the original intrusion that brought down the PlayStation Network. Sony warns that the personal information gamers provided SOE, including name, address, email address, gender, birthdate and phone number have been compromised. Even worse, users login and password information was obtained, which is pretty terrible in general, but worse for SOE gamers because SOE is a network of online, persistent games, such as the legendary Everquest, and a hacked account allows the potential for someone’s hard, grindy work to be ruined.
If hacked MMO accounts and personal information weren’t terrible enough, Sony also warns of something worse than the PSN hack: Credit card information was probably stolen, but it is not the worst scenario possible. Sony warns that there is information suggesting that an outdated database from 2007 containing around “12,700 non-U.S. customer credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security codes) and about 10,700 direct debit records listing bank account numbers of certain customers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Spain may have also been obtained.” However, they do assure us that the main credit card database has not been compromised.
The stolen outdated credit card information isn’t where the bad news ends, as Sony released new information this morning regarding the hack, and have warned us that 24.6 million accounts may have been stolen, in addition to everything previously reported, though that isn’t set in stone as of yet.
To compensate their customers, Sony plans to offer 30 days of free subscription time as well as one additional day for each day their service is down, and they are also providing “a complimentary offering” to help users enroll in identity theft protection services.
So, this isn’t something new we should be mad at Sony for, as they insist this is simply related to the previous hack on the PlayStation Network that gamers have been dealing with for around two weeks, though this isn’t something we should all be thrilled about as well. Hopefully, the compromised information won’t result in anything harmful to players or the characters into which they’ve dumped a significant portion of their time.